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It's been 32 years since this classic movie was made. The theme and plot still feel fresh to this day. Fresh in the sense that it has a nostalgic element that teenagers who grew up around this time can relate to. There was no internet or mobile phones. Just payphones and house phones. The concerns of holding down a job, parenting, paying bills, and taking life seriously were not where we were at the time. It's funny to see how after 32 years, many of us who were teenagers at the time have now gone from either being Kid, Play, Bilal, Groove, Chill or Stab and his Henchmen to being more like the character of pops, played by the late comedian Robin Harris.


Having lived life as a teenager, a young man, and having parented grown children, I cannot help but want to touch on the element of causes and effects, obedience and disobedience. It's like many elements of this movie have a linear thread of decisions for which the characters pay the price. From Kid getting into a fight in school, to Kid getting grounded and told he cannot attend a party on a school night. Pops has tried to protect his son, but Kid has decided otherwise.


Play has decided to throw a party without his parent's knowledge as they are out of town. Looking into it further, Pops realizes Kid has left the house which leads to his father aka pops going in search of him. As a result, he is stopped and harassed by the police, which in reality could've gone left bearing in mind he was already angry at the fact that Kid defied his instructions to stay home. Without covering every single thing in this movie, I can't help but love the togetherness, the comradeship shown when Kid gets arrested and his friends get together to post bail for him.

All this drama in one night.



The movie ends with what we call physical abuse today. Previously known as a decent ass whooping by your father for not doing as you're told. It's really funny how young folk today can tell older folk to piss off and shut up without retribution. I often wonder how many tombstones would read, died as a result of being disrespectful to his parents.


With this, I just thought I'd suggest you take a peek at this movie and remind the generation today of what it was like 32 years ago. Not in a critical way of how the young live today, but to hold up a mirror showing them life 32 years ago and the natural shift in times. Why? Because in another 32 years, they'll be where we are right now.

Tony Cole


House Party (1990)

Written & Directed by Reginald Hudlin

Produced by Warrington Hudlin

This article also features on Tony Cole's Occhi Magazine column.

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House Party  DVD and original vinyl 

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