Party like there’s no tomorrow

Netflix’s new comedy film captures loss in an unexpected way.



Former Nickelodeon star, Victoria Justice, returns to the acting scene by starring in Netflix’s newest hit movie “Afterlife of the Party.”

Quinn Burton, Staff Reporter

One of life’s biggest mysteries is what happens when we die. It’s an emotional subject and everyone has their own belief, whether it’s reincarnation, the long sleep, some form of heaven or something else entirely. This touching subject is what Netflix’s newest comedy film, “Afterlife of the Party,” is all about. 

The movie kicks off with Cassie (Victoria Justice), a social butterfly who dies during a tragic accident during her birthday week. To her astonishment, she is granted a second chance to make amends on Earth by reconciling with her loved ones and most importantly, proving that she is worthy enough to enter the large VIP room in the sky.

After starting the movie, I already wanted to turn off the screen. I mean did we really need another original Netflix movie that featured a social media celebrity? It’s like almost every main character in a Netflix film lives in New York City and has some sort of unrealistic job. However, when the premise started, I was actually surprised that this movie wasn’t completely unbearable. 

Cassie and her roommate, Lisa (Midori Francis) go out to celebrate the beginning of Cassie’s week-long birthday celebration. After having one too many drinks a blow-up during their big night causes a rift between the two friends. Exhausted after a long night of partying and arguing, Cassie returns to her apartment without realizing these would be her last moments alive, on Earth at least. 

After dying from a hit to the head by a toilet, Cassie awakens in the “in-between”.  The “in-between”, which is a temporary purgatory that decides Cassie’s permanent placement in the afterlife. She meets Val (Robyn Scott), an angel who says that Cassie has been dead for over a year and that she must right her wrongs on Earth in order to claim a place in Heaven. Cassie must make amends with her estranged yoga instructor father and the mother who abandoned her as a child. And, of course, she must mend her friendship with Lisa, which involves assisting her in hooking up with their adorable next-door neighbor. Cassie, on the other hand, must try to find out the best approach to assist each of them before time runs out.

As the storyline progressed, I was left with many unanswered questions about the logic of the film. Cassie, for example, can only interact with people on Earth if she and another person are both singing a song together. This really is where I became confused. I questioned why the writers didn’t just let her speak directly to the people on Earth. In theory, this movie could have just been Cassie asking her loved ones, “Are we good?” and then going to heaven. However, the creators felt the need to drag along the story and make it even more puzzling. 

After just the first 30 minutes of the film, I was easily able to take a guess on how it would end. The plot was very predictable, and I found myself uninterested in waiting till the end. The movie was poorly written. Like most Netflix movies, 65% of it was irritating, 30% was heartfelt and 5% was Victoria Justice being absolutely gorgeous.  

Justice’s performance was the savior that this film needed. Justice delivered fairly impactful scenes and had a lot more depth than I was expecting. There were many emotional moments as Cassie slowly came to terms with her sudden death. While it’s hard for her to grapple with the fact that she’s dead, it’s even harder for her to watch the people she left behind go on with their lives. Honestly, it made me shed some tears. That’s in huge part thanks to Lisa and Cassie’s friendship. Their bond is well-developed and slowly became the heart of this film. 

After watching the entirety of the film I was left puzzled on how to rate it, but overall I’d give it a six out of 10. Is this movie Oscar-worthy? Definitely not, but I highly doubt that the creators were going for that anyway. Sure, the storyline was a bit cheesy if you step back and take a look at it, but it actually made for good entertainment. It’s a warm, light-hearted film. To those not sure, just give it a try. It’s much better than other movies on Netflix’s platform.