Plot: Brittany (Elise Luthman) has managed to make some new friends, ones that live in Beverly Hills, have wild parties, and are at the top of the social food chain. She isn’t always on the same page with their choices, but she loves being popular and is basking in her newfound friendships. The social world centers on her new friend Ashley (Amber Frank), who is allowed to have constant parties at her house, thanks to her permissive mother Jackie (Krista Allen). Jackie wants to be seen as a cool, hip mom and so she opens the house to parties, buys tons of alcohol, and lets the teens do whatever they want, as long as she gets some attention. Brittany’s mom isn’t pleased with new friends and late hours, but the more she tries to reach out to her, the more she pulls back. But when things start to go too far at Jackie’s parties, how much chaos and damage will be left in her wake?
Entertainment Value: Lifetime knows bad moms, so it makes sense they would bring us Party Mom and while it is more dark and serious than most of the network’s movies, it is still a fun watch. The narrative leans more on emotional beats than melodrama, the kind of parental scare movies Lifetime used to be known for, before they moved to more thriller type pictures. But even if you’re a big melodrama like me, there’s a lot to like here and Party Mom still entertains. The story is interesting, the cast is terrific, and the pace is on point, never slow or drawn out. And some melodrama sneaks in, especially in the scenes between Brittany and her mom, which can go over the top and add a lot of fun to the movie. Megan Ward dials up the melodrama a lot as the concerned mother, but Krista Allen is also massive fun as the hedonistic, reckless Party Mom, so the moms here are quite different. The rest of the cast is capable as well, with Elise Luthman as the scared virgin, Amber Frank as the daughter tired of her mom stealing her men, and Brian Krause as the mostly useless dad, but this is Lifetime, so of course the women own the show. This might not be as wild or over the top as I expected, but Party Mom gets dark and is a nice return to parental panic cinema. Fans of Lifetime should have a good time with this one.
No nakedness. The atmosphere around the parties at the Party Mom’s house is one of sexual permissiveness, but none of the sleaze is shown. Brittany is pressured about losing his virginity, but she stays strong and refuses to be taken advantage of, in one of the movie’s more powerful scenes. The Party Mom obviously partakes of some young flesh, but again, this aspect of the wildness isn’t explored much. There is some blood in the aftermath of a car accident, with some well crafted wounds on showcase. Not over the top or gratuitous, but the effects work is solid and believable. There’s some mild violence as well, but no bloodshed unfolds there. Some fun dialogue is found here, from Party Mom’s reckless abandon to Brittany’s virginal pleas and her mother’s over the top melodrama. The tone is mostly serious this time around however, so things don’t go too off the deep end. This extends to overall craziness as well, with some mild melodrama being the only real wildness evident here.
Overall Insanity: 3/10