|Sellers distracts audience from Longet's singing|
"That was a short career, wasn't it?"
Hrundi V.Bakshi (Peter Sellers) is a transplanted-to-Hollywood Indian actor who completely messes up a film produced by Fred Clutterbuck (J. Edward McKinley), with the result that Clutterbuck wants the hapless thespian blacklisted. However, instead of being put on a blacklist, Bakshi winds up on the guest list to the Clutterbuck's latest A list party. While it's not quite true that Bakshi "destroys" the party -- he has help from a drunk waiter (Steve Franken), a group of teens who are friends of the Clutterbuck daughter, and a baby elephant -- Baksi does do his share of damage. The Party doesn't have nearly enough laugh-out-loud moments, but there's something amiable and pleasant about the picture, much like the lead character, well-played by Sellers, himself. Sellers' leading lady is Claudine Longet, who is also ... pleasant ... but the film's lowlight is her "singing" a song in her usual whispery non-musical style, pronouncing "dream" as "dWeam" and so on -- she's just awful, the Florence Foster Jenkins of pop. Once married to Andy Williams, who somehow managed to get her a singing career, Longet is most famous for shooting her lover, a ski champion! Besides Franken, who is quite amusing as the half-shot waiter, there are notable turns from Gavin MacLeod as a horny director, Fay McKenzie as Clutterbuck's wife, and Denny Miller as a handsome actor who gets a kick out of Bakshi's adoration. Carol Wayne is a party guest but has little to do.
Verdict: Basically a Blake Edwards home movie but not without its charms. ***.