Four Classic Films To Inspire Your Next Big Event
1 October 2021
WHILE EVERYTHING FROM INTIMATE PARTIES TO GALA DINNERS REMAIN ON PAUSE, WE ROUND UP SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE FLICKS TO EVOKE INSPIRATION AND SPARK JOY FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR SOFA… FOR NOW.
The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus once said, “A life without parties would be an endless road without an inn”, and boy was he on the money. The past 18 months have been a long and dusty road, but we like to think that we can see an inn in the distance… if you squint really, really hard. As we continue along our bumpy journey (okay, enough with the analogy), let’s start dreaming about all the fabulous parties we can throw, attend and enjoy in the not-too-distant future. Full of laughter, fun, glitz and glam – we’re itching to get back amongst it. Looking for a little inspo? We’ve got just the (movie) ticket – four of our favourite films to inspire your next extravagant event.
Almost 35 years (yes, 35!) after its release, Dirty Dancing is still one of the greatest romantic films ever made. Fun fact: it was the first film to sell over a million copies on VHS (Gen Z, look it up). It has some of the best dance scenes committed to celluloid, plus the coming-of-age storyline deals with some pretty hard-hitting issues. Add to this the great clothes, the even better music and the iconic one-liners – spaghetti arms, no babies in corners, et al – it’s no wonder there’s talk of a remake… Although we’re not sure how we feel about this. We’re still scarred by Grease 2.
Redo or not, this movie is made for inspiring an event guests will never forget. Simple touches, like checked tablecloths and fairy lights will evoke the feeling of holidaying at the Catskills, while cinched-waists and flared skirts for her, and sharp suits for him, will pay homage to the fabulous 1950s.
Make sure you add a couple of dance instructors (even better if one looks like Patrick Swayze) to teach the cha cha and merengue. But, in the interest of health and safety, do not, we repeat, do not attempt the lift.
Oh, and the drink of choice? Watermelon martini, of course.
The Great Gatsby
Full of glitz and glamour, sparkle and shine (and, well, Leonardo DiCaprio), if there was ever a film to inspire your next over-the-top affair, it would have to be The Great Gatsby. After all, no movie better captures the rollicking, tumultuous, decadent decade known as the Roaring 20s.
You can, of course, create a full-blown theme for your next event, complete with dashing bootleggers and glamorous flappers in short, fringed dresses, but we’d suggest something altogether more elegant. It starts with Art Deco influences and luxe embellishments, a cocktail trolley here, a chandelier there, to add just the right amount of glamour.
Glassware, like the Waterford Crystal used on the set of the movie, is key, and we particularly love a gilded rim coupe glass (with 24k gold detailing, if you don’t mind). Drinks should be Champagne or a simple mixture of gin, lime juice and club soda, while food comes in the form of canapes, like Oysters Rockefeller and fancy Devilled Eggs.
When it comes to music, your soundtrack should be designed to evoke the spirit of the jazz era, but still be contemporary – just like the film, which featured everything from Beyonce to Jack White.
And if you really want to take it up a notch? Include some inflatable zebras, added to the film for “eye-popping stripes” and “verve”, according to the head set designer, Catherine Martin. Or some translucent balloons that helped to depict the ‘carnival kaleidoscope’ atmosphere of Gatsby’s lavish and extravagant parties. This is an event where anything goes, after all. We can’t wait to party like it’s 1925…
Looking for something a little retro, yet cool? Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 cult classic, Pulp Fiction, might just tick all the boxes.
Again, this doesn’t need to feel like a ‘fancy dress’ party, but rather some subtle nods to the neo-noir dark comedy – think American diner meets American Psycho, set to the soundtrack of surf-rock music and 70s soul.
The right kind of food will make or break this event. Quentin Tarantino is a master at using food in subtle ways to anchor a scene or drive the plot forward, so it makes sense to do the same with your event menu. Serve Royales with cheese, Big Kahuna burgers and blueberry pie for dessert, all washed down with vanilla milkshakes topped with the obligatory cherry.
Then clear the floor, turn on Chuck Berry’s You Can Never Tell and do the twist. Wait, did we hear someone say ‘dance off’?!
Crazy Rich Asians
Want an event to end start all others? If it’s over-the-top extravagance you’re looking for, then the only movie you need to watch for inspiration is Crazy Rich Asians. This is next-level opulence that also, not surprisingly, requires a next-level budget, but after a hard lockdown, we say it’ll be time to go big or stay home.
With an event of this magnitude, you should start at the very beginning, which means transportation for all your guests – from a police escort to a limo convoy, the options are limitless. Money no object? Once borders open, hire a private jet.
Whisk your very lucky guests to the ultimate venue – a house for hire on the harbour, a villa along the coast; all you need is the space and a blank canvas to create whatever you want. Remember, everything down to the finest detail will be tailored exactly to your taste.
Food should be the finest canapes and Champagne because, well, what else is there? If you’re looking for something more relaxed, food trucks are just the ticket, or in the spirit of the film, try a pop-up hawker market, with the best noodles this side of Singapore.
Entertainment is also a must at a mega event like this – stilt walkers, roaming magicians, a 20-piece Brazilian Batucada drummer marching band, a surprise flash mob… The louder and livelier, the better, we say.