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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's important to forgive our loved ones their faults and have compassion for them, and also to give meaningful relationships a second chance when necessary. Social media is sometimes used as a substitute for real human interaction. Separations can sometimes be positive in the long run for individuals. People can have very different strengths, interests, and personalities and still be close friends. Young adults can be selfish and superficial because they think they have a life ahead of them to work things out.
Positive Role Models
Cassie is the life of every party but has started ignoring the emotional needs of her loved ones. She's forced to face her selfishness, learn from it, and help those loved ones heal from her death and move on. Her mom abandoned their family as a young woman and holds a lot of guilt as a result. Lisa undervalues herself at work and is too shy to ask out the man she likes. Cassie helps her gain courage, and her professional mentor tells her: "Modesty is a myth that was sold to women a long time ago. Be proud of your work."
Character names and appearances suggest ethnic diversity, but this isn't a topic addressed in the film. Multiple characters have international accents in English, and Cassie's mom speaks a line of Spanish to her younger daughter.
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Violence & Scariness
A young woman with a hangover falls in the bathroom, hits her head on the toilet, and dies. She's then stuck in a kind of purgatory before it's decided whether she goes "above" or "below." Characters are dealing with serious grief, if not outright depression, from her death.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lisa and her neighbor have crushes on each other but are too shy and awkward to do anything about it. They finally have a date and kiss. Cassie jokes "way to angel block" when her guardian angel transports her out of a setting with a man she likes. She has a lifelong crush on a pop singer. Cassie "plays Cupid" and orchestrates for two potential love interests to meet.
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"Sucked," "fricking," "God."
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Products & Purchases
Specific mention of Twitter, TikTok, and Google.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cassie goes wild, drinking shots and dancing on the bar top, at her 25th birthday celebration, waking up hungover. Lisa and Max share a glass of wine on two different occasions. Lisa tells Cassie there's "more to life than partying."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Afterlife of the Party is about a young woman named Cassie (Victoria Justice) who dies in an accident and then has to come back to Earth to mend broken relationships. Some of her friends and family members are still grieving her death a year later, and her father appears to be depressed. The sadder parts of the story could hit some viewers hard, including when Cassie realizes all the things she's going to miss out on because she died so young, and when her loved ones have to say good-bye for a final time. Her abrupt death comes in a briefly shocking moment the morning after some wild partying for her 25th birthday; scenes show young adults drinking shots and dancing on top of a bar. But other than that, there are just two scenes in which adults drink a glass of wine. Sexual content is also pretty limited: Expect some kissing and references to dating, liking a person, playing Cupid for others, and being "blocked." Cassie is depicted as shallow, focused solely on having a good time and looking perfect, and relying too much on social media. Her best friend needs help overcoming insecurities at work and shyness in her personal life. Language includes "sucked," "fricking," and "God." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This supernatural dramedy is predictable, but its two charismatic stars keep it from suffering as clumsy a death as its main character. Part of the problem is that the central idea of Afterlife of the Party is quite sad -- a 25-year-old dead by accident in the prime of her life -- yet the film does everything it can in its first half to play this as straight comedy. (Even Netflix's marketing of the film refers to her death as a "party foul.") Things noticeably improve in the second half as the script delves into what Cassie is leaving behind and allows its characters to actually feel something, but the disconnect in tone is noticeable.
Victoria Justice and Midori Francis do a great job embodying best friends with contrasting personalities, even though they're straddled with fairly two-dimensional profiles. Cassie is also perpetually squeezed into glamorous, skin-tight outfits matched with perfect hair and make-up. When Lisa complains that Cassie is hanging out with people who "look filtered 24-7," it feels unintentionally ironic to the casting and styling of the stunning Justice, a former Nickelodeon star. Too bad the filmmakers didn't trust her to shoulder a less encumbered performance. She suggests here that she'd do a great job at it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.