Life of the Party
"Life of the Party" has a lovable hero and always amazing Melissa McCarthy, but is very flat and is just not that funny.
Another comedy opening this week is “Life of the Party,” starring Melissa McCarthy. And though promotional materials were a little cheesy, I was still optimistic about this film. After all, McCarthy is a rare comedy actor whose characters are always equally lovable and mischievous.
It’s the last days of summer break and parents of Maddie – Deanna and Dan – are dropping their daughter at her dorm. Deanna is very emotional, Maddie after all is college senior. But she will be even more emotional when she’ll find out minutes later that Dan wants a divorce after so many years together. Deanna is heartbroken and devastated. While trying to figure out what to do and how to live her life, she remembers one thing that she didn’t have a chance before getting married – she never graduated from college. And now after so many years, Deanna decides to re-enroll and complete her last year and get her diploma! And wouldn’t it be even cooler if she enrolls in her daughter’s college?
“Life of the Party” tries a lot to be a good comedy. It sets up a nice and heartfelt story for hero. Deanna is caring, emotional and lovable character. We feel for her emotional struggles. Her husband leaves her and by all means, she should just cry herself to death, but instead she concentrates all her strength in doing something completely opposite, that is build her career from scratch. We truly root for her.
But that where good things end for the film. Comedy part is very mellow and dry. “Life of the Party” misses a great opportunity with the setup. Whereas one can envision hundreds and hundreds ridiculous things that could have happened to sweet, but completely out of place person like Deanna, we get some extremely mediocre laughs. And there is a reason for that – McCarthy herself wrote the script. So none of the laughs are diminishing or humiliating her character. And while it is good, this also is completely in opposite with the setup of the film. Deanna must have been ridiculed for being in the school and hanging with her daughter and creating a gang, etc. Instead we get everyone cheering and welcoming her, and Deanna even gets a young stud to fall for her.
Melissa McCarthy lives for her roles and Deanna in “Life of the Party” is no exception. McCarthy totally embraces her on-screen persona. There is not a hint of under or over-acting in her performance. It is heartfelt, relatable and extremely lovable. She is also backed by solid supporting cast, but among them Maya Rudolph just outshines everyone. Including McCarthy. She steals every scene and is probably the best thing in the whole film. My only complain to her performance is that there is not enough of her.
“Life of the Party” has an interesting setup and very lovable hero, but the film is just not that funny. Really feels like a lost opportunity for everyone.