The Party’s Just Beginning – This is No Party

Rating (2.5 out of 5)

Summary: Karen Gillian steps up to write, direct and act in this drama. Scenes from different timeframes are intermingled, and it takes a while to notice which timeline is which. Once I understood the timelines and her underlying issues were clear, the movie clicked. Overall morose tone persisted until the absolute end of the film, resulting in a plodding movie.

Plot: Liusaidh (prounonced Lucy – Karen Gillian) witnesses her best friend commit suicide and she works through her emotions over the next year.

Detail: I tend to be an upbeat fella. When you follow a character that doesn’t seem to display any effort to improve their lot in life, I struggle to empathize. Lack of empathy eventual leads me to disliking the character. We don’t understand why she is a slutty abusive alcoholic until they reveal her friend’s suicide happened a year ago.

She should have recounted her friends’ tale to her lover Dale (Lee Pace) when Dale contemplates suicide. This would have explained her behavior earlier in the film, and we would empathize more. We also required her to try and fail at improving her lot in life. With the attempt and failure, the emotions would have been heightened towards suicide.

There are quite a few items I liked about the film. For example, the repeating of Liusaidh’s crazy nights out on the town that included drinking, sex with random guys, and eating on her walk home. Her watching the neighborhood from her window. My favorite sections occur when she talks with the old man on the phone who was a widower. They develop a phone relationship, and their touching discussion provided the opportunity for redemption for Liusaidh.