House Party the movie is a notable teenager comedy. House Party is also currently a 90s urban cult classic. The film was directed by Reginald Hudlin and stars the hip-hop pair Kid n’ Play, comprised of Christopher “Kid” Reid from the Bronx and Christopher “Play” Martin from Queens. I’m sure those who have seen the film would agree that the film’s most memorable moment was the epic dance battle featuring the hip-hop duo. Although the dance-off is impressive, their characters additionally nodded at social issues like police mercilessness and generational contrasts inside the Black community.
The project was introduced to the world as a short film in 1983 by Hudlin who, at the time, was still a student at Harvard University. In 1987, brothers Reggie and Warrington Hudlin transformed the short into a full feature script, introducing it to New Line Cinema, the film studio then overwhelmingly known for the Nightmare On Elm Street horror series. Hoping to bounce on the post-Spike Lee Black film wave, the studio approved the film for production. At first, composed for Grammy-winning pop-rap couple DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, the featuring jobs instead went to their peers Kid ‘N Play, a pair of armada footed rhymers from Queens who’d partaken in a line of rap hits helmed by super-producer Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor. A practically unknown Lawrence Martin joined the cast as Kid ‘N Play’s hapless companion, Bilal—new off his first big-screen appearance in Lee’s 1989 amazing classic, Do The Right Thing.
The film’s two female leads, Sharane (Johnson, A.J.) and Sidney (Campbell, Tisha), are at the focal point of their heartfelt struggles and semi-contention. However, the two entertainers knew each other when House Party began casting and the rest is history.
A box office hit in the spring of 1990, House Party the movie was a pioneer. Following a decade of classic 80s teen movies like Pretty in Pink and Weird Science, films that mined the tension of transitioning yet from an unequivocally white point of view, House Party was a movie recounting a story of Black adolescent culture at the beginning of the 1990s.
Shot for $2.5 million with a virtually all-black cast and a crew that the Hudlins classified as 65% African American. The film is stacked as far as possible with explicit references–jokes, design, dance, music, language, items, legislative issues to the black young hip-hop subculture. Joined with the film’s ethnic mind, edge, and unruly energy, it amounts to a social wealth seldom found in classic teenager comedies.
The then twenty-eight-year-old Reggie Hudlin knew that originality is what generally resounds. He felt that if you can make a socially positive film, it would still have a wide allure. Also, by neutralizing the ethnic content of the film, House Party the movie turned out to be fascinating for all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. In other words, a classic.