With September rolling closer by the second and the new school year approaching, this year is passing by like lightning. Thousands of youths will be making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives, and following dreams that they have had for years. It seems only fitting, then, to watch the new coming-of-age movie by Netflix, titled The After Party.
The After Party follows two best friends – Jeff and Owen – as they try to desperately sign a record deal the night before Owen is signed up for the Marines. With strippers, Rolls Royce Phantoms and a handful of chart topping rappers, this movie appears to have it all.
This movie is like a rom-com but for rap fans. The romance plot-line takes a back seat to the overarching narrative of Owen’s attempt to hit it big in the rap world, and it works. The After Party is a movie about friendship, rather than a movie about becoming romantically involved.
Owen (Kyle) and Jeff (Harrison Holzer) are complete polar opposites. Rapper, Owen, is naturally cool, whereas Jeff tries a little bit too hard to be accepted into the world of rap. The stark difference between the pair makes for a lot of punchlines, but also helps explore a deeper meaning of being yourself.
It’s not often that a story starts with a young rapper violently vomiting on Wiz Khalifa and then having a seizure, but that’s how this one starts. With Owen’s new found internet fame, he becomes known as ‘Seezjah Boy’, and hides away from the outside world out of permanent embarrassment.
Yet, despite this, Jeff manages to convince Owen to give his dream another shot. Then follows a wild night that can only be described as every stereotype about super exclusive after parties rolled into one. Yes, it was kind of predictable; it was also very entertaining.
This movie, as expected, garners quite a few laughs throughout its 90 minute running time. Granted, they’re often immature and stupid, but they land, and fit the tone of the movie perfectly. At the end of the day, these lads just want to have fun, and it’s obvious that they do.
Owen, however, has another objective on his mind along with securing a record deal. He is in love with Jeff’s older sister Alicia (Shelley Hennig), and is determined to woo her before the night is over. As unlikely as it may seem, movies don’t abide to the laws of the real world, and Owen manages to charm Alicia into showing him more attention than he was used to getting.
The After Party is a solid attempt at a coming of age movie for the youths of the present day. For a lot of teenagers out there, the people in this movie are living out a dream that they have, and are showing them that it’s possible.
The humour in this movie is one of the best parts about it, bringing a lightness that otherwise would be a big missing part of the overall movie. Owen and Jeff’s friendship has true chemistry, and it brings some genuine happiness to a film that could definitely become quite bleak.
There are some things about this movie that could be improved though. The random cameos from B-list rappers get old after a while, and, even though this is a movie about rapping, should leave the rapping to Owen – this movie is about him and his friendship, not the talent of other established rap artists.
Some parts of the movie just aren’t necessary. A lot of it is fluff to show just how mental this party is, but instead just drag out a movie that doesn’t need any extra time to say what it has to say. The main plot points are handled really well, with just the added bonus extras letting the movie slip up.
Despite all this, The After Party is still an entertaining and funny movie to watch one evening where you don’t really want to focus on much. It is, genuinely, a good movie, with genuinely talented artists in it, and it’ll take your mind off of life for an hour and a half. What more could you want?