You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Party Crashers

The slyly amusing "Party Crashers" pretty well summarizes '90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest).

Cast:
Mr. Foster - John Saxon Gigolo - Max Parrish Former Athlete - Peter Murnik Carolyn - Shawnee Smith Writer - Phil Leirness Actor - Burt Bulos The Bruise - Josh Randall Attorney - Christopher Jacobs Musician/Record Executive - Sid Hillman Mrs. Foster - Maureen Byrnes

The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic is a slick diversion, albeit one without the first-class quips or clever plot twists to guarantee a significant theatrical life. If latter fails to come through, it’s natural tube and vid-shelf filler, as well as a solid resume-builder for all involved.

His latest high-minded screenplay having failed once again to attract sales, a gay writer (writer-director Phil Leirness) refuses to sell out — instead, he’ll simply collaborate with his bisexual actor b.f. (Burt Bulos) and their surly pal (Josh Randall) to hold up an A-list party they’ve been tipped to, and thereafter live free of financial pressure. Plan is to sneak into penthouse fete of a Hollywood attorney (Christopher Jacobs), knowing that blond rich chick Carolyn (Shawnee Smith) will be there. While the other guests are kept on ice, the thieves will place a call to Carolyn’s mother (Maureen Byrnes) and stepdad (John Saxon), demanding $5 million ransom for her safe return.

Turns out excitement-hungry Carolyn doesn’t care a whit about this situation, feeling no great loyalty toward her parents. Indeed, after some mild initial disgruntlement, she and other partygoers decide to take it all in stride — continuing to drink, drug, dance and flirt the night away as planned. Only the host and a couple of his more macho friends feel driven to plot an upset, which the amiable criminals quickly thwart.

Short feature has a droll, blase tone, if perhaps a bit too much so for its own good. Wittier dialogue might have given bright but slender premise a little more ballast. Leirness tries to pull a number of last-minute surprises — of the double- and triple-cross variety — but there’s been so little suspense or import built up prior that these revelations seem gratuitous.

Nonetheless, “The Party Crashers” is good-looking, techni-cally resourceful, attractively cast and assuredly paced; its caustic humor goes down easily, even if you may feel hungry again not too long afterward.

The Party Crashers

Production: A Cinema Arts Entertainment presentation of a Peter Leirness Movement production. Produced by Phil Leirness.Executive producer, Pierre-Richard Muller. Directed, written by Phil Leirness.

Crew: Camera (color), Matthew Libatique; editors, Karen Kory, Trudy Yee; music, Sid Hillman; production designer, Mi-chelle Spears; art director, Stacie B. London; costumes, Cindy Dalvano; sound, Lionel Ball; assistant directors, Lora Zuckerman, Danny Cistone. Reviewed at Cinequest Film Festival, San Jose, Calif., Feb. 27, 1999. Running time: 77 MIN.

With: Mr. Foster - John Saxon Gigolo - Max Parrish Former Athlete - Peter Murnik Carolyn - Shawnee Smith Writer - Phil Leirness Actor - Burt Bulos The Bruise - Josh Randall Attorney - Christopher Jacobs Musician/Record Executive - Sid Hillman Mrs. Foster - Maureen Byrnes

More Film

  • Creative hollywood new leaders variety 2017

    Hollywood’s New Creative Leaders of 2017

    The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic […]

  • Agents and Managers hollywood new leaders

    Hollywood New Leaders: Agents and Managers

    The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic […]

  • Sexual-Harassment-In Journalism Hollywood

    A TV Executive Sexually Assaulted Me: A Critic's Personal Story

    The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic […]

  • WONDER WOMAN

    Women Powered Summer Box Office Successes, New Data Shows

    The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic […]

  • The Final Year TIFF

    Magnolia Nabs Worldwide Rights to Obama Documentary 'The Final Year' (EXCLUSIVE)

    The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic […]

  • Marie-Louise Khondji

    Lumière Festival: Le CiNéMa Club’s CEO Marie-Louise Khondji on Financing a Free VOD Player and Online Collection Curation

    The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic […]

  • Lumière Festival: France's UniversCine Innovates In

    France's UniversCine Offers Much More Than Standard Streaming and Disc-in-a-Box DVDs

    The slyly amusing “Party Crashers” pretty well summarizes ’90s U.S. indie cinema by aiming somewhere dead between Tarantino (comic crime spree) and Whit Stillman (comic twen-tysomething relationship yak-fest). Set almost entirely at a shindig invaded and held hostage by robbers — with very little difference between criminals and captives, as it turns out — pic […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content