Party Girl

Memphis Flyer

DIRECTED BY: Daisy Von Scherler Mayer

REVIEWED: 10-06-97

Substitute the fantasy life of the rich and over-privileged youth of Beverly Hills in Clueless for that of ultra-cool New York hipsters, and you have a fairly good idea of what you're in for with Party Girl.

Parker Posey stars as a club-going, fashion-obsessed, lost child of the '90s. A perfect stereotype of a Generation X-er, Posey refuses to get a real job and frequently finds herself in trouble. With good intentions and no direction, Posey is happy to spend her days dancing and primping, throwing parties and tantrums.

After being arrested for throwing an illegal fund-raiser (she needs to pay her rent), Posey is thrown in jail and must be bailed out by her only relative, her aunt. To pay her back, Posey works with her aunt in a New York public library as a clerk, a prospect Posey is less than thrilled about, to say the least.

Gradually, Posey learns the ins and outs of the Dewey Decimal system and the card catalog, but is continuously frustrated because the world won't take this raver-turned-career-girl seriously. After a small accident in the library (Posey and her falafel-peddling boyfriend leave the library windows open during a rainstorm), she is fired and must find a new job. Only then does she realize how well suited she is for library work, (her blue jeans are in a very specific order between the vintage and thrift-shop sections of her closet) and how much she wants to become a real librarian. "I will not be a waitress," she wails desperately.

Posey's club friends, who include cross-dressing dancers and glitter-covered deejays, team up and convince Posey's aunt to not only give her her job back, but to support her decision to earn a degree in library science.

Although the plot is fairly predictable, the strength of Posey's character is not. Just as in her roles in Waiting for Guffman and Dazed and Confused, Posey has mastered the art of comedic timing and a subtlety of facial expression that Jim Carrey could take a cue from. She is a singer, a dancer, a comedienne, and an actress all at once.

Posey's ability to make any character larger than life saves this film from falling into the B-movie category. Worth watching for the soundtrack and Posey's creative ensembles, if nothing else.

--Mary Helen Randall

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