What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is not intended for kids. The comedy's motto "Chicks and guns and drugs and booze and fire trucks -- all the things that make life worth living for!" cues sex/nudity, prostitution (made to looks like fun), and suggestions of lesbian, gay, and human-animal coupling. Drinking is jovial; drug jokes include a donkey (hired for a sex act) fatally overdosing. Swearing is at mild PG-13 level. Hotel property is gleefully trashed. Racial stereotypes include black pimps and horny Japanese men. Wealthy, upscale (AKA non-partying, polite) people are depicted negatively. Running jokes about suicide. Do-not-try-this-at-home stuff with a crossbow. Schoolkids are shown gambling (with the adult driver Rick's approval). Some mockery of nuns, for any conservative Catholics who might still be watching at the 70-minute mark.
What's the story?
Crazy, uninhibited Rick (Tom Hanks), a fun-loving school-bus driver, plans to marry his live-in girlfriend Debbie (Tawny Kitaen), a sexy shopgirl from a rich, disapproving family. Rick and his longstanding circle of buddies plan a wild bachelor party, and Debbie fears that self-proclaimed "great guy" Rick will cheat on her during the wild bash in a hotel suite with guest strippers and "hookers." Furthermore, Cole (Robert Prescott), a dumb-blond preppie type favored by Debbie's father, wants to marry her instead and bumblingly tries to break up the engagement. Cole succeeds to the extent of convincing Debbie and her bridesmaids to infiltrate the chic hotel where Rick and the gang are partying -- disguised as glammed-up whores themselves -- to spy on the men. Between the scheming intrigues, pranks, misunderstandings, and drug- and sex-fueled mishaps, Rick's bachelor party turns into a monumental incident complete with multiple arrests and an early-morning car chase.
Is it any good?
This raunchy comedy is lucky it gets salvaged by its star. According to publicity, BACHELOR PARTY was inspired by the real-life bachelor party of director Neal Israel's brother. While these lowbrow-joke experts keep the narrative moving along at a fast clip, with a few truly inventive and funny bits indeed (like the climax at a bogus "3D" movie marathon) amidst the locker-room and potty humor, this Party would hardly be worth attending if it weren't for the very much pre-Oscar, pre-Ken Burns documentaries Hanks. He brings an effortless likeability to the hero that provides a sweet center to what would otherwise be a typical entry in the very many 1980s extreme-sex-and-revenge slob comedies -- many, though not all, aimed at the teen market -- that came out after Porky's set the pace. Let's just say that if you giggled at the word "entry" there, this picture's on your wavelength.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what parts they thought were funny and what parts were just sick. Does the 1984 humor hold up to today's standards?
Ask teens if they think Rick and Debbie will be happy as husband and wife.