Movie Review: Party Girl (1995)

Title: Party Girl
Release Date: June 9, 1995
Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Production Company: First Look Pictures

Not many movies can truly be said to change you life.  I watched Party Girl in the 1990s and watching protagonist Mary (Parker Posey) decide to become a librarian made me think that I wanted to be a librarian.  A few years later, I was working in a library, and few years after that I’d earned a masters in library and information science.  Today I work as an archivist within a library.  Granted, I’d always loved spending time in libraries so I probably had a predilection for librarianship, but the positive way it’s depicted in this movie really made me think it was a possible career choice.  That and Parker Posey dancing on a table while shelving books is one of the hottest things ever put to film.

Ironically, Mary is not a sympathetic character.  She is selfish, fashion-obsessed and often rude to her friends.  But the sense of directionless one has in one’s 20s is relatable.  There’s a good supporting cast, including Leo (Guillermo Diaz), Mary’s roommate who’s an aspiring DJ; Mustafa (Omar Townsend), a Lebanese immigrant who runs a falafel stand while hoping to become a teacher; and Judy (Sasha von Scherler), Mary’s godmother and a librarian who hires Mary as a clerk in order to pay off her debts.

The movie remains popular in the librarian community with some funny moments with patrons that are memeable.  The finale where all of Mary’s friends convince Judy that Mary’s librarian skills have really helped them is also a big selling point.  The movie also has a banging soundtrack full of dance tracks from New York’s queer club scene of the 1990s.  It remains one of my all-time favorite comedies.

Rating: ****1/2