Movie Name: Bachelor Party
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date(s): June 29, 1984
MPAA Rating: R
Rick Gassko (Tom Hanks) is finally pulling the trigger and marrying Debbie Thompson (Tawny Kitaen). His friends have decided to throw him the be-all-to-end-all bachelor party and plan for things to get wild. As his fiancée and her friends try to determine if Rick is cheating on her, Rick’s future father-in-law (George Grizzard) and his preferred suitor Cole Whittier (Robert Prescott) are out to break Rick and Debbie up.
Directed by Neal Israel, Bachelor Party is an over-the-top comedy “sex romp”. The movie was met with mixed reviews by critics but was a massive hit.
Bachelor Party was shown on cable a lot. I think I saw most of the movie in multiple viewings, but I never sat down and watched the unedited film. Finally seeing Bachelor Party all the way through, I can say that I surprisingly didn’t miss much.
The movie is rather strange. It is normally a standard comedy with ’80s sex romp laughs, but the movie then gets very surreal. Cole’s attempts to actually kill Rick aren’t realistic, but the final sequence with him kidnapping Debbie, stealing a truck laying down traffic cones, and taking her to a 3D movie where the fights on screen resemble the fight between Rick and Cole just is strange…and very anticlimactic.
Hanks is the primary star of the film. A lot of these type of films, you watch and say “oh that’s _______”, but Bachelor Party doesn’t have much of that. Most of the actors in Bachelor Party didn’t end up doing too much bigger than Bachelor Party. Hanks’ sister-in-law played by Wendie Jo Sperber was fairly prolific, and stage actor George Grizzard played his future father-in-law.
The movie plays a lot of visual gags. Prostitutes and strippers provide the jokes and as in almost all ’80s comedies there’s laughs tied to homophobia which feel really uncomfortable now…apparently there were even more transgender people in the ’80s since every comedy had a character accidentally hitting on a transgender person. The movie’s most famous scene probably involves a dead donkey…and that’s about it.
Bachelor Party hasn’t held up well. There are better laughs from movies in the ’80s and there are more endearing comedies with similar ideas (aka The Hangover). The movie will probably endure due to Tom Hank’s success, but Bachelor Party can be skipped.