(I recorded Party Mom off of the Lifetime Movie Network on March 30th.)
Party Mom tells the story of two moms who live in Los Angeles.
Jackie (Krista Allen) is a party mom! She has a nice house in Beverly Hills, where the party never ends. She’s always quick to point out that she looks young enough that she could pass for being Ashley’s sister instead of her mother. For her part, Ashley (Amber Frank) kinda wishes that her mother would be a little more traditional. Of course, Jackie’s usually too busy trying to get Ashley’s friends drunk to really worry about what her daughter wants.
Caroline (Megan Ward) is definitely not a party mom. Instead, she’s a hard-working, no-nonsense mom who lives in the Valley with her husband, Gary (Brian Krause), and her two daughters, Brittany (Elise Luthman) and Emma (Savannah Judy). Caroline just can’t understand today’s teenagers, with their social media and their iPhones and their lack of interest in hanging out with their boring parents. In Caroline’s day, teens would have loved a chance to spend a night watching TV and eating popcorn with mom and dad! Now, they just want to sneak out of the house and take selfies.
Brittany thinks that Jackie is the best, though Caroline isn’t quite sure that she wants her daughter hanging out in a mansion where all of the adults are just as stoned and drunk as the kids. Caroline even attempts to put her foot down and ground her daughter. Of course, that doesn’t really work. Instead, Brittany simply sneaks out of her bedroom window and heads for Beverly Hills!
Of course, since this is a Lifetime film, it all leads to the usual combination of underage drinking and tragedy. When Brittany and a group of drunk friends leave the mansion, a terrible car accident leaves only one survivor. Jackie finds herself on trial for involuntary manslaughter. Caroline and Gary are determined to see Jackie pay for being a party mom but Jackie’s rich enough to afford a slick attorney. In fact, Jackie doesn’t even seem to feel that bad about the car accident or almost anything that happens afterward. As she explains it, all of the tragedy is due to people from the Valley coming into Beverly Hills, where they don’t belong. It all leads to murder, arrests, and one final confrontation.
I liked Party Mom, largely because, in high school, my best friend’s mom was a party mom and watching this movie brought back a lot of memories. At the time, it was always fun going over to my friend’s house and literally getting to do anything that I wanted to do. Looking back now, of course, it’s easy to say that my friend’s mom was incredibly irresponsible and probably should have been forced to go on Dr. Phil or something. But, at the time, I was a lot like Brittany. I just thought it was cool that there was an adult around who refused to care what was being done in her house.
Krista Allen does a really good job in the role of Jackie, tearing through the film like an irresponsible, perpetually drunk tornado. She especially does well towards the end of the film, when Jackie really goes off the deep end. Like all good Lifetime film, the melodrama in Party Mom is over-the-top and we’re all the better for it.