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Parents' Guide to

House Party 2

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Solid sequel has language, sex, and raunchy humor.

Movie R 1991 94 minutes
House Party 2 Poster Image

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Those expecting a sequel of '90s kitsch and slapstick comedy are likely to be surprised by the relevant themes and positive messages woven throughout the movie. For all of its bawdy comedy and goofy slapstick, House Party 2 contains messages on African American empowerment (and the empowerment of African American women as well), with the backdrop of college used as a way to amplify the messages of the leading African American thinkers, writers, and activists of the 20th century. It conveys these messages without being heavy-handed, and there are many insightful and provocative takeaways from the movie delivered through song or college lecture. The screenwriters didn't have to do this, as audiences would generally be OK with Kid 'n Play getting into comedic hijinks between musical interludes, but the fact that they did keeps this movie from being just another sequel filled with early '90s fashion and dance moves.

That said, there are aspects to the movie that show its age. While the lead female characters are presented as strong, capable, and independent women, the secondary characters and the villain are pretty much just sex objects, or motivated solely by greed or the chance for fame. It tends to contradict the positive messages of African American feminism, as these secondary characters are often little more than eye-candied punchlines. Nonetheless, it's a surprisingly thoughtful movie, one that strikes an effective balance between over-the-top comedy and these more serious messages.

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