Rather than succumb to the AIDS-induced dementia likely to strike him (with movie-style specificity) in a mere five days, a handsome, witty, dying gay man (Eric Roberts) throws himself a big L.A.-swell party before pulling his own plug. Will his ex-lover (Gregory Harrison) return to make peace? Will his old Greek mama (Lee Grant) emote and smoke cigarettes? Will his pre-funeral-fiesta guest list include a mordantly witty queen (Bronson Pinchot), a true-blue gal pal (Margaret Cho), a doting sister (Marlee Matlin), and a house full of good-looking men who can quote old movie dialogue? Yes, yes, and of course. Written and directed by Randal Kleiser (Grease), based on the story of his own lover’s death, and loaded with ooh! look! small parts and cameo appearances (Roddy McDowall, Olivia Newton-John, George Segal, lots more), there is nothing the deeply self-indulgent, determinedly melodramatic, alternately simplistic and didactic film It’s My Party does to deserve it, but by the very nature of the awful fatal illness at its dramatic center, there’s a good chance you’ll need to bring along a wad of hankies.
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