After the back-to-back successes of The Pink Panther and its sequel A Shot in the Dark, Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers – perhaps thinking that anything they immortalized on film would be uproarious – re-teamed to make the largely improvised The Party, a middling comedy that plays like leftovers from the Panther films. Sellers stars as Hrundi V. Bakshi, a moronic Indian actor who – after being blacklisted for sabotaging a big-budget Hollywood epic – is accidentally invited to the angry film producer’s hoity-toity party. There, in a tribute to Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle, Sellers’ Bakshi fumbles his way around the producer’s modern Art Deco home, failing to properly operate the automatic doors and furniture and vainly navigating the house’s numerous pools. Sellers, whose character is Indian only to prove that the actor can affect a decent Bangladeshi accent (or is it a subtle form of post-colonial imperialism?), is most delightful during a dinner feast run amok and a scene in which Bakshi attempts to feed a testy parrot. The free-form film falls apart, however, by resorting to overly extravagant bits like having an elephant (painted with ‘60s slogans about love and peace) receive a good scrubbing during a monumental bubble bath in the middle of the house’s swank living room. One can understand Edwards’ desire to end this screwball film with a euphoric bang, but it’s never a good sign when a comedy’s opening scene – in which Bakshi’s incompetent movie performance as a military bugler causes his army comrades to turn their rifles on him – is its funniest. Despite Edwards and Sellers’ credentials, there’s little reason to RSVP to this party.