House Party | Chicago Reader

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A day in the life of a black teenager (Christopher Reid) who sneaks away from home to attend a house party given by his best friend (Christopher Martin). Reid and Martin compose the rap duo Kid 'n Play, and the movie also features Full Force (the George Brothers), A.J. Johnson, Tisha Campbell, Martin Lawrence, and Robin Harris in a wonderful performance as the hero's hardworking father; Reginald Hudlin scripted and directed. There's a lot more energy and social reality in this picture than one is accustomed to finding in teen exploitation movies; the cutting is often dynamic, and Hudlin generally does a good job of keeping things moving. (The rap numbers are serviceable, but it's one sign of the film's liveliness that these songs tend to slow things down.) One wishes, however, that this movie was as hip about homophobia as it is about safe sex, casual racism, sexual rivalry, and the other matters it incidentally takes up (1990).

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