“IT’S MY PARTY”–saying goodbye


Saying Goodbye

Amos Lassen

People react strangely when I tell them that “It’s My Party” is one of my favorite movies. It’s sad, it’s depressing but it is powerful and it is about a period that I have lived through.” It’s My Party” is about the last day in the life of a young California designer, Nick, who is suffering from an AIDS related brain tumor. He decides to end his own life but only after throwing one final party for his family and for the ones who love him. As the party gets underway and he prepares to get ready to take his own life, his former lover appears in the hopes of an eleventh hour reconciliation.

The movie is based upon actual events and is powerful. The cast is a loaded one with familiar faces—Lee Grant as the mother, Gregory Harrison as the lover, Margaret Cho, Bronson Pichot, Nina Foch and Greg Louganis among others. Roddy McDowell makes a brief appearance and is the voice of conscience in which he questions the ethics of suicide. What an emotion packed drama this is! As the movie rolls along there are laughs and reminisces but as it begins its last 20 minutes, it grabs you by the throat and becomes heartbreaking sad. There is something that a god cry can do for someone. It cleanses you and makes you realize how good it is to be alive.

The script is tight and well written and the actors are fine and the message is deep. It is a true rendering 0of what many AIDS victims once faced. The idea that life could end in a horrible and lingering death was too much for many to accept. Many do not like to be reminded of that period in our history but it is an important time for us that we should never forget. Eric Roberts as Nick gives a dynamic performance as a man in the last hours of his life. Gregory Harrison as Brandon, Nick’s lover is appropriately confused and compassion as the man who must deal with his own guilt for having walked out on his ill lover. Having to deal with the mortality of someone that you plan to share your life with is extremely difficult and Harrison manages to isolate that compassionate feeling even if he does so when it is already too late. Lee Grant as Nick’s mom dazzles us with her performance and it is easy to understand why she has been so under appreciated for so many years.

Other notables in the film are Bruce Davison, George Segal and Olivia Newton-John along with the others already named form an incredible ensemble cast.

It is easily understood why a film like this is not appreciated. The morbid plot is bound to put people off but it is such an important film about the way we once lived that I think it should be required viewing. The catharsis it gives you will only make you feel better.

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