Tis the season to party down. What better way to celebrate than to watch a sarcastic film that realizes it’s a film about the music scene of the late 1970s to early 1990s? That’s right – I’m recommending Michael Winterbottom’s 2002 fun fest, 24 Hour Party People. It’s not available for streaming, but really, when has that ever stopped anyone? Here are five reasons to try it out.
A LOT. And I don’t really mind this because it’s not terribly obnoxious in the way it’s presented. Steve Coogan’s version of Tony Wilson loves to turn to the audience and let us know what’s going on. Whether he’s pointing out the who’s who of the music scene or making observations about Mother Nature, it’s nice to feel included in the action. It sort of feels like you’re the new kid at school, and a seasoned local has taken you under his wing. It doesn’t take itself too seriously in its commentary, either, which adds to the charm.
I don’t know about you, but I love me some Joy Division. This one has some good tunes going for it, as well as some history. Stone Roses. Inspiral Carpets. The Happy Mondays. Good times, my friends. If you dig this kind of music, you will love the soundtrack. Speaking of which….
|Feel the excitement.|
Some of the people they got to be in this film… well, given the mix of myth and fact, it’s impressive that someone would be in a film that presents a rumor as part of the action. Howard Devoto, Clint Boon, Tony Wilson. Hell, they even roped Ian Curtis’s daughter, Natalie, into an appearance. There’s a lot more that I’m not listing here. If you’re familiar with the music scene, you’ll laugh when you recognize someone. That this group plays along (hi there again, fourth wall) is pretty spectacular as well.
Some people hate Steve Coogan. I happen to find him pretty funny. There’s something fun about a dude with teeth that could shame a shark. He’s also got an air of smart ass to him, which… well, we smell our own. I think he’s perfect for the role of guide in this film. You don’t hate his character; you just sort of go along with him. That makes the ride that much more enjoyable.
|I need to perfect this look.|
This film knows that it’s a got some unreliable source material. Yes, it chronicles the rise of this section of music, but it also manages to acknowledge some of the rumors of that same scene. Not everything is true, which makes everything that much more entertaining. It’s like a bunch of guys sitting around telling tall tales. And really, at the end of the day, those are some amazing stories, because not everything is true, and it’s up to you to figure out what is legend at this point. It makes for a fun telling.