Review: 18 TO PARTY Misses The Mark, But Shows Promise


Enjoyable to some degree if you like the genre, filmmaker Jeff Roda paints a simple day waiting in line for a party.
Technical Merit
- Advertisement -

If 18 To Party serves any purpose, it is to encapsulate an era that is long gone. A time of seemingly infinite freedom that has many roadblocks, which tend to make way for the most fun moments. For these “lulls” are when true characters emerge, and it is during these stretches of time that may seem like a bore in the moment that will truly impact the rest of certain lives. With 18 To Party, filmmaker Jeff Roda takes one of these “lulls” and crafts a full film out of it. Certain to be reminiscent of classics like The Breakfast Club and definitely Dazed and Confused, the film never quite reaches these heights, but that’s perfectly okay.

This film is certainly about carving your own path, and each character is left to do this. Most of these actors are relatively unknown, and for the most part, they do a great job of embodying all the nerves and archetypes of an 8th grader. Some characters are very much forgotten about in favor of the lead roles, but for a film that is a very tight 80 minutes, that seems expected. The film ends on a decent note, yet its missing the glue that holds together other coming of age films. Everyone should have some form of resolution, regardless of how minute it is. And some of these characters simply don’t receive that treatment.

18 To Party
A still from Jeff Roda’s 18 TO PARTY.

One very clever element of this film is how Roda circumvents the typical exposition that plagues slice of life films. Rather than shoehorn in certain topics that the writer wants discussed, Roda has a character read a newspaper, wherein the rest of the group then voice their opinions for the world to hear. While a small touch, it certainly works. And this is definitely something that adds to the overall authenticity of the film. Because this film doesn’t shove the fact that it’s an 80s film in your face, but rather, it just lets you simmer in it through the clothing and music choices.

- Advertisement -

18 To Party certainly nails a crucial element of the “slice of life” sub-genre in this regard. The characters open up to one another in a way that feels authentically written. With that, each tangent they go off on feels earned, so in this, Roda’s script certainly succeeds. It’s a bit frantic, and less cuts would make everything feel more organic, but the chemistry is certainly there, which could have made or broken this film.

Overall, this debut film from Roda is certainly harmless, and it fits nicely into the ever growing list of coming of age films that have a slice of life feel to them. Linklater is clearly an inspiration to Roda, and if his career is any indication, it’s that with some polish, Roda could definitely craft a hit in the years to come. Just as his characters display, life is all about waiting, and self discovery comes on its own. So with time, Roda’s filmmaking may blossom into something beautiful, but for now, all we can do as an audience is support an independent filmmaker early on in his career and hope for the best.

18 To Party is celebrating its premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on October 4th, 2019.

- Advertisement -


‘Krystal Goes to the Media’ Ep. 7 Official Clip | On Becoming a God in Central Florida | SHOWTIME

Krystal tries to get Mirta (Melissa De Sousa) to do a news story on FAM. Starring Kirsten Dunst. Catch new episodes Sundays at 10/9c on SHOWTIME. #OnBecomingAGod Subscribe to the Showtime channel for more clips: Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: Get SHOWTIME merchandise now: Get more SHOWTIME: Follow: Like: Instagram:…

The Boys: Best Bloodbaths | Prime Video

The Boys is a bloody good time — literally. You didn’t ask for the bloodiest moments, but here they are. » Watch The Boys now exclusively with your Prime membership: » SUBSCRIBE: About The Boys: The Boys is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as…

American Horror Story: 1984 | Season 9 Ep. 4: Rita’s Trap Highlight | FX

Seeking subjects for summer study. Contact the doctor for more info. #AHS1984 Subscribe now for more American Horror Story clips: In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to their new jobs, they quickly learn that the only thing scarier than campfire…

The Outsider (2020): Official Teaser | HBO

Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, The Outsider premieres January 12 on HBO. #HBO #TheOutsiderHBO The 10-episode series follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), as he sets out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods. The mysterious circumstances surrounding this horrifying crime leads Ralph, still…

Nancy Drew | Season Preview | The CW

Stream new episodes of Nancy Drew Thursdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death derails Nancy’s college plans. Connect…

Season 6 Refresh | Power | STARZ

Don’t miss out on all the Season 6 hype. Catch up before Power returns October 27 on the STARZ App. #Power #STARZ Subscribe to the STARZ YouTube Channel for more Power: Get your free trial of the STARZ app: Like Power on Facebook: Follow Power on Twitter: Follow Power on Instagram:…

Rhythm + Flow’s Contestants Trade Bars in First Cypher Round | Netflix

TrOyMan, Jakob Campbell, OneTake Carter and Flawless Real Talk go off in their cypher. Watch Rhythm + Flow, Only On Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with over 151 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety…

Arrow | Sacrifice | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream new episodes of Arrow Wednesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About ARROW: After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the South China Sea. Oliver returned home to Starling City, bent on righting…
Alex Papaioannou
Alex Papaioannou
Born and raised in New York. I've always loved all things pop culture, but my true passion lies within film. And the only thing that I love more than watching movies is writing about them! Some close runner-ups are: food, the Yankees, and hip-hop.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here