Bachelor Party

  • Review Date: June 13, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Common Sense Media says

'80s sex comedy is extremely raunchy, graphic.
  • Review Date: June 13, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Message, if there is one, seems that true love, even for a wild-and-crazy guy like Rick, can survive incredible temptation (though sour undercurrent is that all Rick's married friends regret leaving bachelorhood behind and try to talk him out of the wedding). Side theme that aristocratic, wealthy folks are uptight and unpleasant; low-class dudes like Rick are more tolerant, fun, and maybe even ethically superior (of course, guess who the target audience for Bachelor Party was?).

Positive role models

Bad role models abound in this party-guy wish-fulfillment, with the qualifier that Rick, for all his bawdiness, is faithful to live-in fiancée Debbie, even in a hyper-sexual atmosphere, and protects her from an obsessed suitor. Rick's motley pals who are wedded are unhappy (one's even suicidal) about the idea of marriage. As in most comedies, rich people (Debbie's family) are unpleasant snobs. A black man and -- in a racial-reversal gag, an Asian Indian -- are stereotypical pimps. Hotel roomful of Japanese men depicted as lechers.

Violence

A fist fight. A threatened assassination by crossbow. A jealous wife beats up her husband. A character tied up and dangled outside a window.

Sex

Full-frontal female nudity in one scene. Scantily clad "hookers," who do kinky S&M lesbian sex acts just out of camera. Male strippers shown, one with a huge penis (barely off screen) a woman accidentally fondles. Plans for a donkey and an exotic dancer to mate (a drug accident interferes). Male bare buttocks. A porn film eagerly screened (the joke: except for flashes, serious sex/nudity got mysteriously cut). Condoms shown, plentiful suggestive dialogue about oral sex and other techniques. Rick and Debbie live together but aren't married. Rick's friends, including husbands, take turns with prostitutes (off screen). One pairs up with a male transvestite without realizing it.

Language

"T-ts," "a-hole," "bitch," dick," the s-word (again and again, including a subtitle), the f-word once.

Consumerism

Shopping-mall stores, hotels, and high-consumerist Los Angeles landmarks comprise a lot of the setting and set a tone. Mickey Mouse and Nike logos, beer labels, car makes, automotive products, theater chains, references to appliance brands, James Bond, Star Wars, pop-rock bands in posters and dialogue.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Tons of drinking. A depressed character uses pills (specifically Quaaludes). A donkey overdoses on pills and cocaine. Smoking, including a doctor rarely without his pipe.

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. 

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 29, 1984
DVD release date:June 5, 2001
Cast:Adrian Zmed, Tawny Kitaen, Tom Hanks
Director:Neal Israel
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:R

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