This playlike dramedy is sharp and good-looking (in black and white), but it's also shrill and aggressive, hurling nasty, witty barbs at the speed of suffering; it's smart without being thoughtful. The humor in The Party seems to be based on subtle differences in political preferences, though the movie does little to explain or describe these differences. What remains is a collection of selfish, repellent behaviors. (Only Ganz' "healer" character seems kind and calm, but even he tends to respond to others with platitudes, rather than actually listening.)
The Party recalls Beatriz at Dinner, a movie that did take time out to explore its characters' personal and political motivations. That film came up with a more interesting clash, although, to be fair, The Party has a much more concise, ironic, and satisfying ending. It runs only 71 minutes, which is refreshing, but perhaps it could have been longer, adding some silences and moments to explore and reflect? It's a disappointment, coming from talented English director Sally Potter (Orlando, The Man Who Cried, Ginger & Rosa), who likes to take risks but whose movies are usually more involving.