Life of the party

This Chick: ‘Life of the Party’ – A Failing Grade

Melissa McCarthy stars in her latest comedic blockbuster ‘Life of the Party,’ where she plays recent divorcee and now single mother, Deanna. In a sudden and unexpected twist her longtime husband leaves her for his mistress. Rather than get down on life, Deanna decides, it’s about damn time! What to do for this single middle-aged mother? Join her daughter at University of course! A simple set up for this hilarious star, who smashed the box office with her previous hits Bridesmaids and Heat. This should be an easy slam dunk.

This is not that kind of movie, despite all efforts, McCarthy couldn’t save this film. There are several issues that left me feeling a little less than interested. The plot of Life of the Party was a big weak point, with this set up being used countless times before, and typically not delivering in those films either. Confusing and stale writing solidify this as a a C-level comedy, with the plot never having a clear goal. Deanne goes back to university to complete her anthropology degree, but once there the movie falls off the rails. Yes she parties. Yes she has “relations” with other students and partakes in several illegal substances, but the goal is never clear. If this was a coming of age film, then it should have been planned from the start as that, not become one half way through the film.

Life of the party

Melissa McCarthy is a terrific comedian; that is NOT in question. But, time and time again we see her star in these types of films that just miss the mark (see Tammy). McCarthy thrives in a duo as seen in Heat or in a larger group such as Bridesmaids but its seems when she is by herself she just can’t find her footing. She’s just not a leading lady. Maybe if they’d pushed the envelope a touch more, allowed for an R-rating, we could’ve had a few decent laughs, but unfortunately not. The plan can’t always be to hit the biggest market, if this movie had been able to let loose, it would have helped it get a passing grade, rather than flunking.

Now let’s get real about Melissa’s character, Deanna. Yes, while Deanna is cutting loose, free from the chains of an unhappy marriage, her demeanour is just night and day. At the beginning of the movie Deanna is quiet and extremely shy. The moment she gets to university she is suddenly no longer afraid to be the centre of attention, unafraid to speak up and be heard! Deanne goes from being afraid to publicly speak to completely fearless! She has a dance-off, fights the class bully, etc. This sort of change should be a journey, not just a switch. Now, This Chick isn’t saying it’s not possible, just unlikely, and bad storytelling.

The end result? Another flop for Melissa in This Chick’s book. If you’re looking for mindless fun then it might be up your alley. But ultimately, it was another plot-less, predictable romp with a few decent jokes, from washed up genre, starring a pretty talented, if unfortunately not discerning actress.

This Chick’s Score: 3/10

Life of the party


This Chick

This Chick's got enough on her plate: Making enemies, staying classy, walking the walk, and keeping This Guy honest (whenever possible). But for you, she'll make time to keep you up to speed on what's cool and what blows.

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