Melissa McCarthy kind of sums up Life Of The Party during one of its earliest scenes. As Maya Rudolph is hit in the vagina with a squash ball, leaving two old men to laugh at her pain, McCarthy turns to shout ‘It’s not funny!’ Y’know what Melissa? You’re right. It’s not funny.
This sentiment stays for the rest of the film, managing to raise only a few smiles, Life Of The Party is very much a mood piece, trying to tap into the nostalgic and party themes that often do so well in films of a similar quality. There is a generally strong tone to the film, and it often gives off pleasing and enjoyable vibes, but does fail to come off as a reputable comedy.
After dropping their daughter to university for the final time, Deandra’s (Melissa McCarthy) husband breaks his silence on wanting to divorce. Deandra, now trapped in a midlife crisis, takes the bold decision to go back to college. The exact same college she just dropped her daughter to.
Melissa McCarthy is very Melissa McCarthy as Deandra, offering almost nothing she hasn’t given before, but a solid backing from her on screen daughter and friends makes the film a more rounded piece. Particularly Gillian Jacobs giving a wonderfully weird and slightly disturbed performance. Without them the film would have been far less enjoyable and they deserve a good chunk of the credit for what makes Life Of The Party watchable.
It is exactly what it says on the cover, and plays off regrettably as a forgettable film in the repertoire of Melissa McCarthy, as she continues to produce films, however difficult she finds it to really pull off the humour, or write it in this case. It is by no means a bad film, but it’s also one that becomes very difficult to recommend, to anyone.
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