Friday, 10 August 2018

Life of the Party (2018)

I really like Melissa McCarthy. She is funny and has pretty good acting skills, which is why, in spite of the low rating on IMDb, I still decided to check out Life of the Party. And it's one of those decisions I immediately regretted. 

The film follows Deanna Miles (Melissa McCarthy), a dedicated housewife who sees her life turned upside down when her husband (Matt Walsh) suddenly dumps her for another woman (Julie Bowen). She never graduated as she dropped out of her last year of college when she got pregnant, so she decides to go back to college, in the same school as her daughter (Molly Gordon), who, of course, is humiliated at the thought of her mother trying to live the college life. 

This would have been a really nice and original idea if it wasn't for the fact that Back to School, which I'm yet to see but whose plot I've read multiple times, has the same exact plot. The only difference is that this time is the mom that is going back to school. There's something worse than lack of originality though, it's the lack of a plot. That's right, Life of the Party has no plot whatsoever and it's tremendously predictable --although there's a twist in the middle that it's impossible to see coming. I'm not even sure it has an ending. 

The characters are just as poorly written. First of all the main character, Deanna. She is this dorky soccer mom at the beginning of the film. I get that she's going through a lot of changes, the divorce, going back to school, but that does not explain why her personality completely vanishes as the movie "moves" forward. I mean, you look away for one second and then she is this shallow woman acting like a college stereotype. The other characters though are probably even worse, especially Deanna's daughter, Maddie, and Maddie's friends. Coherence is probably something Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy --they both wrote this-- are not familiar with. These characters are basically socially awkward nerds, one of them is even afraid of the goth girl who is sharing the room with Deanna. I'm pretty much a socially awkward nerd and I would never, not even in my wildest dreams, go to a super loud and crowded party and/to get drunk. I know that there's this stereotype about college students loving to party and get drunk, but I'm pretty sure it does not apply for the type of persons Maddie and her friends are.

Warner Bros. Pictures
On top of that, Life of the Party is also filled with jokes that rely on the characters finding themselves in pretty awkward situations, and guess what, they just don't work as awkward does not equal funny. I think I laughed two times in total. 

The script is such a mess, there's absolutely nothing the cast can to do save Life of the Party. As I was saying above, Melissa McCarthy is a talented comedian but she needs a good direction to give her best and from what I saw here, her husband, director Ben Falcone, is not capable of giving her that and, as a result, McCarthy's performance is dull and flat. The rest of the cast is also very poor. There are a few exceptions though. Community's Gillian Jacob is pretty awesome as one of Maddie's friends, a girl who woke up after an 8-year coma. Her sarcastic attitude is what keeps the movie "alive". Her character and she deserved to be used better though. Maya Rudolph also stands out as Deanna's best friend.

Ultimately, Life of the Party is the most unfunny comedy I've seen this year so far. It's dull and lifeless, and a tremendous waste of talents, especially if you consider that Jackie Weaver is in this. 

6 comments :

  1. I had a feeling and it does boil down to the writing. I love Melissa McCarthy so I might see this when it comes to tv.

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  2. I find Melissa McCarthy movies so hit and miss, I either love them (Bridesmaids, The Heat) or hate them with a passion (Tammy, Identity Theft). I haven't read a single good review of this one so I'm going to carry on avoiding it like the plague!

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    1. I kinda liked Identity Theft and I haven't seen Tammy yet but I get your point. Anyway, I've read that all the three movies her husband directed (Tammy, The Boss, and Life of the Party) are terrible.

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  3. I do like Melissa McCarthy as well though I do wish she's given more to do outside of the comedies she usually does. She's funny but I always feel there's more to her.

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