Movies We Like
The Boys & Girls Guide to Getting Down
Are you one of those people who drives past a club and sees all the scantily clad ladies and roguish gents lined up outside a club and wonder, “Is that really their idea of a good time?” I've never understood the thrill of clubbing and, upon seldom experience, always walked away with anxiety over the smell of sweaty bodies and hard liquor. Clubs are often featured in films as this oasis of sexy young 20-somethings and pulsating music to which anyone with pizazz and the right clothing can go and have a great time. This movie not only takes you into the cliched world of nightlife in Los Angeles, but it also sheds a light on the absurdity and downright funny aspects of partying. By mocking those who thrive on heavy drinking, narcotics and noisy music, it presents the party-hardy lifestyle as something to experience, if only for the opportunity to marvel at mankind in one of its most praised, and yet semi-barbaric, rituals.
The movie supports an extremely large cast and focuses on no one in particular. It begins with several groups of friends and roommates choosing where to hang out in Hollywood. The goal for most of the men is to get laid, while the women, the narrator claims, act as if they are hanging out with their girlfriends but are really after the same thing. It then differentiates between clubs, house parties, and after parties when the dreaded last call has been shouted. Mixed into the action is a series of energetic doctors who are “researching” clubbers in their natural habitat. The club sequence is short, and of course we never see the inside of them.
The main focus is on the lines of people gathered outside when, in reality, the club is empty and only appears to be a “happening” place. Two men with visors and jerseys try desperately to enter, and the movie gives several alternative shots of what they're doing wrong and how not to be denied entry. It then does a hilarious take on bouncers, claiming that the experience of a bouncer can be judged by the number of rolls they have on the back of their necks which the narrator calls “hot dogs”; the amateur has only one and the veteran has scruff that looks like a pasture of rolling hills. This sequence is followed by a very entertaining introduction into bouncing school. Moving on, we see the joys of a house-party and get a little run-down on the do's and don'ts there. The first lesson being how to spot a party, as in look for loud music, boys urinating on walls outside, and a drunk girl crying on the steps.
The house party chapter goes into everything from how to search for hidden booze when it's gone to how to hook up with a girl or guy. We then go into drug use and drug connections, both at the party and the club. The claimed drug of choice in the Hollywood club scene is cocaine, and this movie shows you several ways to manage your coke experience. First, the trial and error of finding a dealer and real cocaine. Next, how to share your cocaine without being taken advantage of. Lastly, how to look for and be wary of fiends and, if you're not so good with the ladies, how to get coke-addled chicks to come sit with you, in exchange for a bump or two. Last is the scuffle for an after party when the house-party has been broken up and last call has been announced at the clubs. A young man who's supposed to be house sitting tries to organize a small gathering, which of course gets out of hand. We are then instructed on the more miniscule details of the after party, such as how to keep the female to male ratio even at all times, and how to be rid of stragglers. Or, if you're a straggler, what to offer the host in order to stick around longer (cocaine). Then, the glorious morning after, full of hang-overs, hospital visits, trashed homes, and squinty eyes. And sometimes, a new spouse or plans to go on vacation with your new friends...a trip which everyone knows will never happen.
What I liked about the movie is that it was entirely realistic, though it seemed exaggerated. If you've ever seen the nightlife rampage of a big city, you can watch and have a laugh or bury your face knowing that you've been there. The ending gives a refreshing message that tells the audience not to judge these people too harshly, or if you are these people, not to look at the rest of the us as a bunch of people who don't know how to have a good time. If you're worried that I've given away too much, rest assured that there was truly too much to cover.