Afterlife of the Party (2021)

dir. Stephen Herek

Victoria Justice stars as Cassie – a twenty-five-year-old woman who speaks, dresses and behaves like a girl ten years younger – whose life meets with an abrupt end after she somehow drunkenly slams her head on the toilet. She wakes up in the afterlife, is greeted by a guardian angel, and is tasked with improving the lives of her loved ones so she may accrue the brownie points required to ascend to heaven. Afterlife of the Party doesn’t even try to conceal its attempts to rip off The Good Place, but where that show had complex characters, an intriguing metaphysical model, and fizzing humour, this film has mind-numbingly boring characters, a supernatural reality that makes no sense (Cassie can simultaneously interact with the world around her and also, not), and humour mostly derived from people making goofy faces and stumbling around. The film’s excuses for emotional pathos range from dry to downright dangerous, as Cassie desperately bends over backwards in pursuit of forgiving a mother who blithely abandoned and ignored her for most of her life. Afterlife of the Party is much like the fictional singer “Koop” it randomly features front-and-centre for much of the run time: generic, entirely irrelevant, and instantly forgettable.

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