By Monique Jones,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Funny reboot of '90s comedy has shocking violence, swearing.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid the mature content are themes of friendship and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Damon and Kevin demonstrate friendship throughout the film, helping each other in difficult times. Damon in particular learns how to take responsibility for his actions, deepening his friendship with Kevin. But they both take part in what's essentially criminal behavior: using LeBron James' house without his permission to host a party.
Most of the cast is Black, as are the director and the two screenwriters. And there seems to be a bit of an effort to reduce colorism, with the main Black female characters being darker-skinned. But the movie's women characters are usually defined by the men they're involved with. Some women are called "hoes" or "bitches," which is demeaning. Damon also makes a joke about him and Kevin being paid "Mexican prices," leading to another character, Juan, walking on screen and Damon sheepishly trying to cover up the joke. Then Juan says he's Venezuelan, not Mexican, furthering the joke. While the film is allowing the audience to be in on this joke, some could still find it distasteful.
Inclusion information: Black actors
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Violence & Scariness
Comical fighting scenes and threats, and moments of absurdist, shocking violence (including a beheading and killing with knives).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual humor, scenes with sexual content and partial nudity. Pole dancing and other sexual dancing, and a scene with a character realizing that his pants have semen stains on them.
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Lots of swearing and slurs, including "ass," "s--t," "f--k," "f---ing," "bitch," "motherf---er," "goddamn," "damn," "d--khead," bulls--t," "hoes," "bitches," "bitch," and the "N" word. Potentially ableist words ("idiots," "stupid," "crazy") and exclamatory use of religious terms for humorous effect ("sweet chunky black baby Jesus").
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Products & Purchases
Many name brands are mentioned or seen, including Tostitos, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Capri Sun, Nike, Geek Squad, Ciroq vodka, Louis Vuitton, Modelo beer, Gucci, etc. NBA teams are also mentioned in the film, with LeBron James jerseys on display.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes with drug use and drug humor. A character gets called a "crack head."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that House Party is a sometimes raunchy comedy based on the original 1990s House Party films. It follows two friends (Jacob Latimore and Tosin Cole) who throw a party in LeBron James' house without his permission. Expect tons of strong language, including "ass," "s--t," "f--k," "goddamn," "hoes," "bitches," and the "N" word. There's also sexual humor and risque scenes, plus comical fights and a few moments of shocking violence that involve weapons and deaths. There's also drug use and rampant product placement.
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What's the Story?
HOUSE PARTY follows Kevin (Jacob Latimore) and Damon (Tosin Cole), two friends who are trying to make it big as party promoters. While they're cleaning LeBron James' house, they decide to hold their biggest party yet there in hopes of finally making it big. But, of course, not everything goes to plan.
Is It Any Good?
While it can't possibly match the hype around the original film when it was released in 1990, holding this reboot to that standard might be unfair. The new House Party does try its best to capture the fun and the timeliness of the first movie, and in that regard, the film largely succeeds. Many of the jokes actually land and, despite what the trailers show, a surprising amount of heart and care appears to have gone into creating the film and its story. However, co-writers Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori probably drew one too many tricks from Atlanta's surrealism, injecting a shocking moment into the film that's quite jarring and far from what anyone would have expected. But even though it goes a little off the deep end, House Party is still a fun time as long as you take it for what it is -- a love letter to the original.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about friendship. How do Damon and Kevin demonstrate friendship in House Party? How do they learn to be better friends to each other?
How are women represented in the film? Do you think they're depicted positively?
How do the film's moments of violence add to or subtract from its humor?
- In theaters: January 13, 2023
- On DVD or streaming: February 7, 2023
- Cast: Tosin Cole, Jacob Latimore, Karen Obilom, LeBron James
- Director: Calmatic
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studios: New Line Cinema, Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: pervasive language, drug use, sexual material and some violence
- Last updated: May 18, 2023
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