By Gen Terblanche28 December 2023
The wildest parties on Showmax: Rough Night, House Party and more
Honk honk, it’s silly goose season! Between 26 December and 1 January is a free-for-all. And for party animals, it’s time to go wild. We’ve curated a playlist featuring some of the most epic parties ever seen on film. Check them out and take inspiration for your own festivities. To start you off, we’ve singled out a couple of notes for party inspo.
It’s time for a remix of one of the 90s’ most iconic films, with R&B and hip hop tracks that literally blew the roof off, and iconic performances and dancing from musical duo Kid ’n Play. This time, millionaire basketball star LeBron James is throwing the party at his place. Kind of. The mega-mansion party house in the film might not be LeBron’s personal mojo dojo casa house, but he’ll be crashing the party in person, and as a motivational hologram. And behind the scenes, his production company SpringHill kept the party going.
Writers Jamal Olori and Stephen Glover (who both worked on Atlanta together) both worked as real-life party promoters back in the day, so they knew all the ropes that the film’s housecleaners Damon (Tosin Cole) and Kevin (Jacob Latimore) would have to pull to put together a VIP list that would get everyone excited about the event. And what a guest list it is, with the likes of Tinashe, Snoop Dogg, GaTa, Mya, Kid Cudi (whose poem for LeBron we all want to read), two of the original Power Rangers, Lil Wayne, Big Sean, and a handful of basketball superstars, all playing themselves and running amok. There’s even a real live koala. In the storyline, as in real life, having access to LeBron James’s personal phone contacts really helps. Famous people have the kind of koala access that us mere mortals could only dream of.
But with all the guests thoroughly overexcited, Damon and Kevin will be working overtime to keep them from ripping the place apart, tipping off the police, or stripping LeBron’s mansion to the studs as they nick souvenirs. At one point, Damon and Kevin will even have a brush with Hollywood’s Illuminati as they try to regain control. Seeing it all go down is the next best thing to being there.
Party inspo: Curate that guest list, lock away any valuables, physically block off any no-go zones in the party, and pray.
Margaux (from 28 December)
Is your idea of a party planning a quiet, luxury getaway for your inner circle only? You might be dreading having to read through the chunky file of house rules with directions for turning on the gas for the geyser, or the whole rigmarole of arming and disarming the security system. Wouldn’t it be great if the house took care of everything itself, including the cooking and cleaning?
Meet the party house of the future. All you need to do is to download the smarthouse app, select all of those permission requests, and the AI, Margaux (voiced by Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri), will pamper you as if you’re billionaire’s baby. Margaux even has 3D printing capabilities so anything that’s not on site, “she” can make, along with fermenting alcohol and cooking practically anything from scratch.
For a new group of college-aged guests, it’s a dream come true. But only one of them, Hannah (Madison Pettis) the programmer, can even understand Margaux’s Ts & Cs and instructions. Before you shake your head wisely, friends, when did you last study the entire terms of service before clicking the “agree” button? TikTok’s take over 30 minutes to work through. And unless everyone agrees to have their retinas scanned and to give Margaux access to their entire online footprint (including search history, imagine!), the weekend will be ruined. Hannah’s right to be spooked, though. If this was a Barbie Dream House, the resident Barbie would be M3GAN. It’s going to be a killer party!
Party inspo: Get everyone onboard with the rules before you book the party house.
You’re invited to the ultimate rager – a hurricane party at David’s (Pete Davidson) parents’ gigantic country mansion. While the storm rages outside, all the guests inside will be living it up as the “candy”, drinks and dance music flows. And when everyone has loosened up enough, it’s time to play party games like Bodies Bodies Bodies, in which one person is secretly “the killer”, another is “the detective” who has to work out who the “killer” is when one of the other guests gets the secret signal from the killer and pretends to die.
Fun, right? But when the lights really do go out and one of the party guests dies for real, there’s blood on the walls as the surviving drunk, high and panicking guests turn on one another in a gore fest that gives a Gen Z twist to the slasher genre the way that the Scream franchise brought Gen X meta humour to the game.
When you open your eyes and look, everyone on the specially curated guest list is a suspect: Bee (Maria Bakalova), a poor newcomer from Eastern Europe, is a stranger to all the guests aside from her newly sober trust-fund-baby girlfriend Sophie (Amandla Stenberg). David, Sophie’s obnoxious childhood best friend and the party’s host, gets bad vibes from Greg (Lee Pace), who’s the much older boyfriend of another guest, Alice (Rachel Sennott), the podcaster. And David has some kind of beef with Max (Conner O’Malley), possibly over Max’s feelings for David’s girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders). And nobody knows what Jordan’s (Myha’la Herrold) deal is. Let the games begin.
Party inspo: Games are fun for grownup parties, too. But to avoid the worst part of the hangover the next day, hire your cleaning service in advance.
Four best friends from college – Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Alice (Jillian Bell), Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoë Kravitz) – reunite for a wild bachelorette party in Miami before Jess’s wedding, along with Pippa (Kate McKinnon), Jess’s friend for her studies in Australia. The girls decide to go for the full Miami experience, including getting high on “candy” and hiring a male stripper to come to their party house. But when the stripper has a fatal accident, the friends go all out trying to escape the consequences. Hijinks ensure, involving a bizarre sequence of mistaken identities, lies, and inconvenient ocean currents. It’s The Hangover meets Very Bad Things, with friends who’re just finding out that they might have outgrown one another.
Party inspo: Before a planning a major group weekend away, consider pre-gaming your guest mix with a casual coffee meetup to feel out anyone who’s going to be dead weight.
Ready for another weekend away with the girls? In this slapstick road trip buddy comedy movie, lifestyle guru and bestselling author Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall), aka “the next Oprah”, invites her three best friends – online gossip reporter Sasha (Queen Latifah), nurse and mom Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), and impulsive Dina (Tiffany Haddish), who’s just been fired for attacking the person who’s been stealing her lunch at work – along with her on a trip to New Orleans.
Ryan has a major professional event to attend with her cheating husband, Stewart (Mike Colter), but also some free time to enjoy one of the biggest party cities in the US with her besties. Watch this one for the sheer pleasure of hanging out with the Flossy Posse, for their bad b*tch dance battle at the club, and for an insider look at what happens when mom-age ladies accidentally get high enough to romance a lamp post.
Party inspo: Loud outfit + louder wigs + the loudest friends = the best dance party, ever. But when you mix professional-you with party-you, you’re doing the devil’s work. Don’ do it.
When high-school new girl Maggie, and her popular-kid best friends Haley, Darrell, Chaz, and Andy persuade local vet Sue Ann “Ma” Ellington (Octavia Spencer) to buy alcohol for them, Ma invites them to hold their drinking party in her junk-filled basement … so that she’ll know they’re safe. Soon word spreads of the party, and more teenagers pour in and start patronising Ma, making more and more demands, treating Ma like a servant, and breaking her house rules.
But while the more entitled teens clearly think that the price for the party is putting up with Ma, she escalates from being emotionally needy, to pulling nasty pranks, to becoming invasive, to showing her true colours as a full-on homicidal maniac and twisted torturer. Ma really paints a picture of how uncomfortable it is to be stuck at a party where someone is crossing everyone’s boundaries, or someone popular is being outrageously nasty, but guests are reluctant to call them on it because it’ll mean the party is over. Yikes.
Party inspo: At a stranger’s house party, mind your manners and the rules. And when the vibes are off, trust yourself and leave.
New parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) Radner have the grave misfortune to be living next door to a fraternity house (in the first film) led by Teddy (Zac Efron) and then a sorority house (in film 2) led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein), who wind up bringing Teddy onboard to help them to throw a huge party. In both Bad Neighbours (BN) films, the house is filled to the rafters with party obsessed young students whose ruckus keeps waking the baby. While mom and dad are pulling their hair out, we’re taking notes on some of the most fun party activities we’ve ever seen!
Party inspo: These are college movies, so they’re super educational. Take notes.
BN1: Raise party funds by selling “special” merchandise. Curate that soundtrack, splash out on the drinks, black lights, strobes and neon paint (more dark means less cleaning). Pack the house and pool with party people who’ve all brought a little something with them. And set up a few childhood favourite activities like water pistols, or dodging an exercise ball down the stairs while pretending to be Indiana Jones. Then fire up those indoor burners, stand back and um, smudge the whole house to get rid of bad spirits. Yeah. That’s what they’re doing in that scene.
NB 2: Teddy reveals his number one rule for throwing a party: let it show what you’re really about. It pays off as the sorority girls dress up as their icons, from Hilary Clinton to Oprah Winfrey, to Joan of Arc. It really adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the party when “Oprah” hands out the drinks by telling everyone to look under their seats, and starts yelling “You get a beer. You get a beer. You get a beer!” NB 2 plays into the power of themed parties, proving that there’s strength in numbers. If you cry in your pyjamas over a tragic romance movie on your own, you’re just a saddo; do the same thing with 30 other people and that’s bonding.
PS: Since a wedding is also a party, but the kind at which people are meant to be on good behaviour and just a little bit stressed, check out: Angela Bassett and Salim Akil in Jumping the Broom, Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel in Shotgun Wedding, Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in Monster-In-Law. And for the flipside of parties, Chris Rock’s Death at a Funeral, and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral.
Now go out there, study the pros, and throw that rager!
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