It’s My Party (1996)

Twenty-four years ago today, the film It’s My Party premiered. I saw this film at the Newmark Theaters in downtown Seattle (it’s a Target now). I read a short review in The Stranger and went because Margaret Cho was in it. This was at a time when I was living downtown and would go to movies late at night by myself often. Ten minutes into the film, I started crying and didn’t stop until I was almost home. There is a lot of beauty in it and a whole lot of sadness. I found the whole film and put it below. You have to see this movie.

Title: It’s My Party
Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Produced by: Randal Kleiser, Robert Fitzpatrick, Gregory Hinton, Harry Knapp, Dessie Markovsky, Joel Thurm
Written by: Randal Kleiser
Starring: Eric Roberts, Margaret Cho, Lee Grant, Gregory Harrison, Olivia Newton-John, Marlee Matlin, Bronson Pinchot, George Segal
Music by: Basil Poledouris
Cinematography: Bernd Heinl
Edited by: Ila von Hasperg
Production company: Opala Productions
Distributed by: United Artists
Release date: March 22, 1996
Running time: 110 minutes
Language: English
Box office: $622,503

It’s My Party chronicles a two-day party hosted by Nick Stark (Eric Roberts) a gay architect who, having been diagnosed with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, will fall into a state of mental lapse lasting for months until his death. He decides to host a party for his family and friends, at the end of which he will commit suicide by taking Seconal.

“You won’t leave me, will you?” Nick asks his estranged lover, Brandon Theis (Gregory Harrison) a B movie director, shortly after revealing to him the results of his last blood test for HIV. “I don’t want to die alone.” In spite of Brandon’s protestations, the two soon find the love they had shared for many years in ruins. One year after their breakup, Nick is confronted with a ravaged immune system and a CT Scan and lab values which, along with his worsening forgetfulness, clinches the diagnosis of Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) — a condition he has seen claim his friends and one which he vows will not take him. Due to the aggressive nature of the disease, he has only a few days of conscious life remaining. His plan, he announces to family and “extended family,” is to voluntarily end his life himself before the disease renders him unrecognizable to those he loves and he, in turn, is unable to recognize them. Uninvited to the farewell party, Brandon’s presence is greeted with jeers from those who see him as having abandoned Nick in his time of greatest need.

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