As an only child I spent a lot of my time daydreaming, from the boy I liked in school to fantasizing of being the most popular girl in class, my mind was always racing. Pretending and imagining what my version of a perfect life would look like. It didn’t help that I was pretty much raised with television and the movies as a pass time, which lent to my belief that breaking out in song and dance spontaneously was a great way to bring people together as a form of inspiration. I would imagine myself as the wallflower that no one understood and overlooked, until one day I showed up at the dance in a killer dress that showed all of my 11-year-old curves (I was actually kind of chunky at this age so I use “curves” liberally), my long and lustrous hair tumbling down my back ( there’s some cultural delusions to unpack there), as everyone stares in amazement at my ugly duckling to swan transformation. The boy I was crushing on would grab my hand and we would dance a perfectly choreographed number to whatever song I thought was hot at the moment thus turning the dance into a full on party. Inspiring everyone (even teachers) to join in.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but my 11-year-old self really did think that all adult parties were like this. I just knew that perfectly choreographed dance routines were apart of being an adult. That nobody sat on opposite sides of the room staring at each other nervously like the boys and girls did at kiddie parties.
The party scenes in the movies below had a hand in my vivid imagination and I wanted to pay homage to them because they instilled my love for parties. I mean, in essence this blog all began from my love of everything party. While these party scenes are a bit unrealistic, they created a world for me to look forward to and fond memories to look back on, and they are my go-to when I need a little pick me up even today. So here they are, my favorite party scenes from the movies in no particular order.
Ugly ducking with two left feet. gets grinded, on the dance floor by hot young dance teacher to some awesome old school R&B? Yeah this was exactly how I thought my first basement party would look (save for the basement, cause we don’t have those in Southern California), and I’m Baby ( of course) and Patrick Swayze was Malcolm Jamal Warner.
Speaking of house parties, this scene from House Party was a lot closer to the actual house parties I attended. In fact, me and my besties actually choreographed a real number to break out at a summer party after watching this. I mean I was older now, so I knew everyone wouldn’t join in but I also knew that since housingwas the dance and fashion craze of the time (come on now it was 1990), and with it came a burst of spontaneous dance numbers that caused crowds to part and created room for you to bust out that exhaustive 8 count (that I happen to still remember to this day), it wasn’t too far-fetched to think I could be Sydney or Charraine…but more Sydney than Charraine cause I wasn’t THAT confident yet.
Perhaps more widely known for the famous beauty shop seen where Julia Roberts almost goes into insulin shock, than its unforgettable party scenes, Steel Magnolia’s had me planning my nuptials at 10 years old. From Shelby’s signature wedding colors of blush and bashful (pretty much two almost exact shades of pink), the armadillo grooms cake, and the awesome country hoedown of a reception (you gotta check out the ONE black guy getting down in the background), I just knew I had to have a big ole southern wedding!
Coming to America
As hilarious as it was breathtaking, the engagement party in Coming to America was party scene game changer with the icing on the cake being Prince Akeem’s portly assistant’s earnestly solemn rendition of “She’s Your Queen to Be”! Little unknown fact, Paula Abdul choreographed the African dance number above.
My main observation after watching this awesome party scene from Footloose was how quickly all these kids learned how to dance after dancing had been banned in their rural southern town. My next…damn white people do have rhythm!
This probably should have been at the top of the list because Grease was really the movie that started it all. It’s the trifecta of perfect dance party scenes…perfectly choreographed number – CHECK, Hot guy and boring goody-goody turn heads on the dance floor – CHECK CHECK, drama ensues as the jealous ex girlfriend tries to ruin everything for our star-crossed lovers – CHECK CHECK CHECK!
So wait you mean it wasn’t all doom and gloom on the Titanic? Before watching this party scene I was convinced that the 1920’s was all classicism, racism and sexism, and while it probably was all of that, this scene from Titanic showed they still made room to party!
So party people, are there any movies I missed? Are there any movies from this list that you agree with? I’d love to know in the comments below!