It's My Party is a 1996 American drama film written and directed by Randal Kleiser, it was one of the first feature films to address the topic of AIDS patients dying with dignity.
The film is based on the true events of the death of Harry Stein, accomplished architect and designer, who was actually director Kleiser's ex-lover. Stein's actual farewell party was held in 1992.
The cast includes Olivia Newton-John, Margaret Cho, Bronson Pinchot, Devon Gummersall, George Segal, Lee Grant, Marlee Matlin, Roddy McDowall, Steve Antin, Bruce Davison, Sally Kellerman, Lou Liberatore, Nina Foch, Eric Roberts as Nick Stark and Gregory Harrison as Brandon, Stark's estranged lover who returns to attend the party and say goodbye. Kleiser directed Newton-John in Grease almost 20 years earlier.
It's My Party chronicles a two-day party hosted by Nick Stark (Eric Roberts) a gay architect who, having been diagnosed with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, will fall into a state of mental lapse lasting for months until his death. He decides to host a party for his family and friends, at the end of which he will commit suicide by taking Seconal.
"You won't leave me, will you?" Nick asks his estranged lover, Brandon Theis (Gregory Harrison) a B movie director, shortly after revealing to him the results of his last blood test for HIV. "I don't want to die alone." In spite of Brandon's protestations, the two soon find the love they had shared for many years in ruins. One year after their breakup, Nick is confronted with a ravaged immune system and a CT Scan and lab values which, along with his worsening forgetfulness, clinches the diagnosis of Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) -- a condition he has seen claim his friends and one which he vows will not take him. Due to the aggressive nature of the disease, he has only a few days of conscious life remaining. His plan, he announces to family and "extended family," is to voluntarily end his life himself before the disease renders him unrecognizable to those he loves and he, in turn, is unable to recognize them. Uninvited to the farewell party, Brandon's presence is greeted with jeers from those who see him as having abandoned Nick in his time of greatest need.Eric Roberts as Nick StarkMargaret Cho as Charlene LeeLee Grant as Amalia StarkBruce Davison as Rodney BinghamOlivia Newton-John as Lina BinghamDevon Gummersall as Andrew BinghamGeorge Segal as Paul StarkMarlee Matlin as Daphne StarkGregory Harrison as Brandon TheisBronson Pinchot as Monty TiptonRoddy McDowall as Damian KnowlesSteve Antin as Zack PhillipsSally Kellerman as Sara HartLou Liberatore as Joel FerrisNina Foch as Mrs. TheisChristopher Atkins as Jack AllenDennis Christopher as Douglas ReedyRon Glass as Dr. David WahlPaul Regina and Tony ZamaraCassandra Peterson (uncredited) as Party guestJoey Cramer (uncredited) as Party guest
The film received mixed reviews, with a rating of 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.
It's My Party opened in 28 theaters on March 22, 1996 with $148,532. The film would eventually gross $622,503 domestically.
A DVD with several special features was released in 2003. It contains deleted and extended scenes, featurettes on the making of the film and audio commentary by the director and some of the actors.