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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Doing drugs can get you into trouble. "The culture is dying and y'all are the future. Don't f--k up the future." Authenticity is the best policy. Talent isn't enough. You need confidence, too. "The internet giveth and the internet taketh away."
Positive Role Models
Several characters suggest that people will like them better if they stop trying to be what they aren't. Owen's father is supportive and loving. Jeff's father is work-obsessed to the degree that he's never home and never gives his son any of his time. Jeff is a jerk who once cruelly nicknamed an adolescent girl with bad skin Pizza Face. He is obnoxious and tries to be someone he's not. A woman refers to a "Jew" who manages her money. A character is bullied for having a seizure as the result of taking drugs.
Violence & Scariness
A jilted boyfriend wrecks the Rolls of a spoiled suburban rich kid and then gets into a fight with him. Punches are thrown. Someone's nose is bloodied. Men use their motorcycles to box in a car, which backs up and hurts one of the riders. A man sprays pepper spray in the eyes of someone who climbed up his fire escape. Angry, Owen spontaneously raps about his friend's inadequacies, seemingly ending the friendship by spouting unflattering truths.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Owen has wanted to have sex with his best friend's older sister for years. They joke about it as she continues to say no, but she seems to say yes finally; nothing is shown. Strippers in a club. Bare buttocks wiggle in a customer's face. Men throw money at a woman dancing provocatively. Breasts are seen. A man watches a porn video on his phone and breasts are seen in the face of a man whose tongue is out. Sex with groupies is mentioned. A man borrows an expensive watch to help him get girls to have sex with him. A parking attendant masturbates in someone's Rolls Royce. A reference is made to a sexually transmitted disease that causes burning urination. References to sexual acts, including blow jobs.
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"F--k," "s--t," "p---y," the "N" word, "ass," "d--k," "t-ts," "hell," "jerk off," "boner," and "piss."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A youth who isn't a stoner is persuaded to smoke some strong marijuana offered to him by a famous rapper. Soon after, he vomits and has a seizure in public. A woman gets drunk and is carried out of a party on someone's back.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The After Party is an aspiring rap artist's fantasy about the road to fame. Two high school best friends, a rapper and his "manager," traipse through intersecting worlds in the quest to get a record deal. Teens may be interested as several popular rap artists appear (Kyle, Wiz Khalifa, among others). Much of the material is adult even though the young men are presumably only 18. Expect rap concerts, drugs, strip clubs, bare breasts and bottoms, exclusive parties with drinking, quick views of porn tapes, and references to sexual acts, including blow jobs, sexually transmitted diseases, and masturbation. Explicit language is used extensively, including "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, and "p---y," and smoking marijuana is both touted as cool and exemplified as something to avoid. Some violence occurs: a fight resulting in a bloody nose, the use of pepper spray, and a car hitting motorcycles. A character is bullied for having a seizure as the result of taking drugs. 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 movie often drags, despite a solid performance by Kyle Harvey as Owen. Ironically, while he's endearing as an actor, his talents as a rapper, supposedly the gift that drives him in The After Party, seem a bit underwhelming. The movie is constructed as a fantasy in which every scene is propelled by some far-fetched goal: rapping in front of a producer, hanging with him at a concert, meeting him at an after-party. The energy the guys exert in overcoming many obstacles posed to these goals fuels the movie, but also obscures the fact that achieving the goals in no way guarantees Owen the riches, fame, or success he seems to seek.
Equally shaky is Owen's assumption that his career is over after one viral video as Seezjaboy. And also unrealistic is the idea that you can show up at Parris Island, the Marine training base, without enlisting first, or enlist and then just not show up owing to a last-minute recording contract. Just about every motivating, tension-building development in this plot is weak, if not downright false, which is funny since the movie's main message suggests that nothing is more important than authenticity. Older teens may be willing to suspend enough disbelief to enjoy this movie despite its flaws.
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.