Lawrence O'Toole
August 16, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The story — a gay man dying of AIDS (Eric Roberts) throws a goodbye party for family and friends before taking his own life — is so highly charged with emotions that any criticism would appear to be unfeeling. But the crucial problem with this well-meaning film, which has a large and highly watchable cast that includes Lee Grant, George Segal, and Bronson Pinchot, lies in It’s My Party‘s fuzzy delineation of the relationship between the main character and his ex-lover (Gregory Harrison), who at first abandons him. The script too, by director Randal Kleiser (Grease), has more than its share of cliches, and its flippant brand of gallows wit seems tired. Nevertheless, anyone who watches this sad tale in the safe haven of a living room will probably still be moved. B-

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