“Life Of The Party” is a Generic, Paint-By-Numbers Comedy
“Life of The Party”
The latest Melissa McCarthy movie is exactly what 90% of Melissa McCarthy vehicles have been. She’s out of her element, does physical comedy, has zany lines that seem improvised and there are pretty much zero surprises. It’s a paint-by-numbers, passable fish-outta-water comedy. Onto the review! It’s a brand new release so…spoilers
McCarthy plays Deanna and the movie opens up with her & her douche sewer (Matt Walsh) of a husband dropping their daughter (Molly Gordon) off at college. As they pull away, husband-that’s-definitely-into-bestiality drops the bomb on her that he wants a divorce and has been fucking the real estate agent (Julie Bowen). McCarthy goes to see her parents in a funny scene with Stephen Root playing her weird ass dad. A few scenes of McCarthy and her best friend (Rudolph) coping with the divorce pass before we find out that McCarthy is enrolling in college to graduate because she never graduated before. If it feels like “Back To School” with Rodney Dangerfield, it’s because it is. There’s a funny scene about the divorce proceedings involving McCarthy, Rudolph, Bowen & Cucky Brewster Matt Walsh. And then, well…you can guess what happens for the next hour or so. A bukkake of painfully predictable college shenanigans along with age jokes, fat jokes, dick jokes, pussy jokes and out of place overly physical humor. It’s as if it was written by a gassy 8 year old and a Chris Farley fanboy. Nothing to write home about since there really wasn’t a whole written at all.
Gillian Jacobs (from “Community” and “Love” fame) stands out as Helen, an older girl who was in a coma for 8 years and is weird as all fuck. She’s called “Coma Girl”, is an online celebrity and she plays the part really well because she has fun with it. Also McCarthy’s dorm roommate, Lenore (who is basically every Antichrist Superstar era Marilyn Manson fan you’ve ever shit on), played by Heidi Gardner adds a lot of really fun comedic moments to the film. McCarthy glams up, takes the fight to the mean girls with help of her crew, fucks a younger dude and inspires all her sorority sisters to be better. Also Christina Aguilera shows up for a paycheck because why the fuck not?
Listen, it was a fine bullshit comedy. It served it’s exact purpose: Zero thought necessary, a few chuckles and it killed time. There were some stand out performances and it was a sweet story line that really tried to push the “you’re never too old to make your dreams come true” narrative but it was simply a very basic film. It’s a “wait for Netflix or only see it if you have Movie Pass” comedy, though. I would be pissed right off if I paid $15+ to see it. My biggest gripe is that it’s a complete waste of Melissa McCarthy. She’s a good actress. These movies are becoming her Madea and it’s fucking sad. She is so much better than these uninspired physical bullshit comedies. Give. Her. Better. Movies. Also, it saddens me that McCarthy and her husband co-wrote this because the jokes were full blown flaccid.
Something that I need to point out about this movie that I want to see more of: A majority female comedic cast. This movie is full of female cast members that, individually, work well. Multiple characters as stand alone characters are actually great it’s just that the script was halfhearted at best. It’s a disservice to the women in the cast that brought their characters to life in the face of a painfully mailed in comedic script. Give more women more chances to shine, especially in comedic roles, that are written better. There’s a shit load of female talent out there, Hollywood.
2.5 outta 5 because it was fine for cutesy, chuckle fuck bullshit. It wasn’t “good” but it wasn’t technically bad. It was literally about as “okay” as you can get.