Serious mix of hormones? Check. Lots of plaid. Check. A game of Suck and Blow on the agenda? Double check.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that New Years Eve parties generally suck. So why not host a party the way it should be hosted? With a heady mix of hormones and quality plaid.
When you come of age watching ragers from ‘90s teen movies, few things feel as fun or as formative as a good old-fashioned house party. The catalyst for kisses, bitch fights and the unveiling of a new you, the house party was a key plot point in any self-respecting teen movie. Here’s how to recreate one of your own.
The first task is to get people gossiping. Facebook didn’t exist in the ‘90s so you’re going to have to get creative with your invites. Lure guests in by throwing a large bundle of crudely photocopied flyers somewhere prominent, á la that genius from 10 Things I Hate About You. Fictitious claims of free beer are highly encouraged. If you haven’t got access to an office photocopier, use the tried and tested method of word of mouth. Take your cue from the opening credits of Can’t Hardly Wait, a film focused entirely on one high school graduation party, and have your friends spread the word in feverish whispers around town. Teen movies’ best rumour-mongers probably grew up to be brilliant spin doctors, so channel any skills honed at that PR internship I know you probably did and get people curious.
THE PARENTS-OUT-OF-TOWN ATMOSPHERE
To really recreate that carefree, 90s house party vibe perfecting that no-authority-figures-in-sight atmosphere is crucial. Revellers need to feel like they can get away with doing anything, with anyone. In 90s teen movie world the house party was the one arena where no one could tell teens how to behave, so ensure any hygiene-obsessed housemates are out for the night and don’t sweat it when someone spills their rum and coke on the new cream carpet. Destruction of the bourgeois home is what teen movie house parties were all about.
Remember: Nobody likes a Bogey Lowenstein.
CLOTHING IS KEY
Did a creature ever look more heavenly than a pouty-faced Liv Tyler in that cropped fuzzy sweater and yellow plaid skirt in Empire Records? Midriff skimming tops, chequered skirts or spaghetti strap dresses were de rigueur for the silver-screen teen queens of the 90s. Guys, since you probably don’t have time to grow out your hair into heartthrob-worthy curtains, opt for an over-sized shirt paired with a classic white t-shirt and a slightly goofy smile. Anyone resistant to even the laziest of dress up themes should remember that Romeo met Juliet at the Capulet’s banger of a costume party. Just saying…
When it comes to tunes, take a lead out of Richard Linklater’s book. Apparently one sixth of the $6.9 million budget for Dazed & Confused went towards acquiring music, so at least one sixth of your party-planning energy should be devoted to creating the perfect playlist. Pick Garbage’s #1 Crush to ease guests into the evening, Notorious B.I.G when it’s time to get table dancing and Coolio’s Rolling with my Homies for all the wallflowers.
MAKE SURE EVERYONE GETS TO KNOW EACH OTHER
All teenage house party games are geared towards getting people to make out or confess their innermost secrets (because, as our wise 16 year old selves knew, admitting unprompted to any kind of genuine feeling...AS IF!) Have a pack of cards handy and suggest a game of Suck & Blow when your crush just happens to be standing next to you.
AND FINALLY, SAFETY IS KEY
Okay, so arguably house parties in teen movies aren’t depicted as the safest of environments. 10 Things I Hate about You made concussion seem romantic and Nancy kills that jock guy at a party in The Craft. For an entire decade Seth Green’s desperation to shed his virginity with anyone drunk enough to have him veered dangerously close to the rape-disguised-as-party culture that still plagues us today. But in the universe of ‘90s teen movies, the last thing you want is to get mugged by someone who can’t tell his Alaïa from his Aldo, so plan your route home accordingly.