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Synopsis:

When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) turns regret into re-set by going back to college…landing in the same class and school as her daughter, who’s not entirely sold on the idea. Plunging headlong into the campus experience, the increasingly outspoken Deanna—now Dee Rock—embraces freedom, fun and frat boys on her own terms, finding her true self in a senior year no one ever expected.

What We Thought:

Life of the Party is exactly what you expect it to be. If you watch the trailer and think it looks funny then you will enjoy it. If you watch it and don’t laugh, you won’t enjoy it.

I like Melissa McCarthy personally. I’ve met her a few times, worked with her and she’s delightful. I wish I loved her movies more. This is the latest film of hers that could have been better. I did laugh a few times, but it was more at the supporting cast than her.

That is the biggest positive of this film, the supporting cast. I enjoyed Maya Rudolph’s character a lot. She plays McCarthy’s friend who is enjoying McCarthy’s adventures going back to school. I also really liked Gillian Jacobs. She plays a former coma patient who isn’t quite as old as McCarthy, but isn’t a young college student either.

My biggest issue was with McCarthy’s character. Her character starts out more as a caricature than actual character. She has an accent, takes the back seat to her husband and daughter and doesn’t come out of her shell for a while. Once she becomes her own woman, I rooted for her.

I always feel weird watching “comedies” like this with an audience. The regular movie going audience seemed to laugh a lot. I sat there quietly trying to figure out what they were laughing at. It’s all one giant cliché after another. There’s weed jokes and sex jokes and parties and “mean girls” and it’s all stuff we’ve seen a thousand times before. Even the idea of an older person going back to school was done before with Rodney Dangerfield and was actually called Back to School (and is a lot better/funnier movie).

I wish McCarthy would do more dramatic roles and less of these types of comedies. She’s great in St. Vincent, but in Life of the Party, she’s falling down a lot and doing the same schtick she’s done the past 10 years. It’s better than Tammy, but nowhere near the comedic gold that is Bridesmaids.

Cast & Crew:

  • Melissa McCarthy
  • Gillian Jacobs
  • Maya Rudolph
  • Julie Bowen
  • Matt Walsh
  • Molly Gordon
  • Stephen Root
  • Jacki Weaver

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