Star Rating: ⭐
Melissa McCarthy performance just about keeps the film afloat, but overall it misses the pass mark.
Melissa McCarthy has been a part of some very good comedic films from her supporting role in Bridesmaids to the starring roles in The Heat and Spy, her role in The Life of the party was very disappointing.
The story begins with Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) being told by her husband (Matt Walsh) has abandoned her for another woman and asks her for a divorce. When their daughter, Maddie (Molly Gordon) starting her final year at University, Deanna decides to join her daughter back at her old college, having not finished her studies back when she was a student.
The Life of the Party shows Deanna doing this, age and social conventions are damned. I lost track on the number of times in which there were lazy attempts to be funny, making thin jokes remarking on Deanna’s age ‘you’re like 1,000 years old and her role as Maddie’s mother, as she embarrasses her, ‘oh my God mom’.
McCarthy was able to use her energy and commitment to keep it from turning into a complete disaster, but it was really disappointing to see her having to stoop to this level and to deliver so much worn out comical material. Based on her previous comedic performances in films, McCarthy deserved much better than this film. I really hope her future appearances in comedic films will rescue her from the rut she may have found herself in.
The only scenes that I enjoyed in the entire film were the 80’s dance-off scene between McCarthy and Debby Ryan’s character and all of McCarthy’s scenes with one of her co-stars, Maya Rudolph; also in Bridesmaids saved it for me.
The Life of the Party is not a film I’ll be seeing again!