I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Monday, October 10, 2005

House Party (1990)

One of the earliest and best films starring rapppers follows a common teenage theme: wanting to go to a party that one has been forbidden to attend.

Kid (Christopher Reid) gets in trouble at school when another student insults his late mother. He throws food at the offender which misses him. His dad tells him that there is no way he's going to a party which is being thrown by Play (Christopher Martin). Kid can't miss that party! Play's parents are going to be out of town, and the music is going to be hot. On top of that, two of the most popular girls in school are going to be there (Tisha Campbell and A.J. Johnson). Kid sneaks out while his dad is asleep, and naturally, gets into trouble involving bullies, nosy neighbors, angry parents, the police, and one very dangerous looking alley rat.

This movie is energy and fun from beginning to end. One of the highlights is a rap battle between Kid and Play, which feels like a freestyle session. Kid "disses" Play very cleverly during one moment that brought "ooh, damn!" from the audience I saw this movie with years ago. John Witherspoon, who was a regular on the sitcom, "The Wayans Brothers" plays an adult disturbed by the noise of the party. Funk superstar George Clinton has a small role, and so does the director, Reginald Hudlin and his brother, Warren. Members of the R&B group Full Force are the meanies who harrass Kid through out the movie. Martin Lawrence is the dj at the party. Lawrence and Campbell would go on to star in the 1990's sitcom "Martin". Robin Harris was an incredibly funny comedian who played Kid's dad in this movie. Unfortunately, this would turn out to be one of his last films. He passed away from a heart attack several months later.

Kid N' Play appeared in two more House Party films that were not as nearly as good as the first. The duo had a short-lived Saturday morning cartoon, but their biggest success were with hits like, "Rollin' With Kid N'Play". Play reportedly left show business after turning to religion. Kid still had his hand in the game. He composed the theme music for Bill Maher's talk show on HBO.


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