Review: ‘Life of the Party’

Let’s me start off by saying how much I love Melissa McCarthy. From her breakout role in “Bridesmaids” back in 2011, her roles in “Heat” and “Spy” to her SNL appearance dressed up as Sean “Spicy” Spicer, she’s just a riot when it comes to comedic performances. Her self-confidence is through the roof when she’s fully immersed in a given role, and it’s just a pure delight to watch her go at it.

With that in mind, I was waiting for her newest movie “Life of the Party” to come out ever since I’ve watched the trailer. Melissa McCarthy plays a middle-aged stay-at-home mom whose lightweight of a husband dumps her for a tight-lipped realtor (played by Julie Bowen from “Modern Family”) on their way back from just dropping off their daughter at her sorority house. However, she recovers from her initial shock by going back to her alma mater — where her daughter is also attending — to finish her degree in archaeology finally. And then comes her stint at living her college days that include a lot of frat parties, sisterhood solidarity, and mom-daughter bonding.

Throughout the entire movie, there were funny moments for sure, but generally speaking, I felt that the jokes fell flat and unoriginal and the supporting cast — with talents such as Maya Rudolph, Gillian Jacobs and Heidi Gardner to name a few — had little to work it. Instead of being a feature-length movie, it felt like I was watching a series of skits stitched together haphazardly with no clear linear plotline. Honestly, it would have been better as a TV series. Ben Falcone, Melissa’s real-life husband, directed the film — not the first time around — and the script was co-written by Melissa. I have to say that it’s great that they can work together and share their vision with the rest of us. Maybe, they just need an outsider who can provide better creative direction and screenwriting.

Anyway, regardless of what I felt about the movie overall, it’s still great to see Melissa kicking ass in promoting her brand of comedy fearlessly. So on that note, you can watch her most recent surprise SNL cameo. Cheers!

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