LIFE OF THE PARTY
SYNOPSIS: When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) turns regret into re-set by going back to college…landing in the same class and school as her daughter, who’s not entirely sold on the idea. Plunging headlong into the campus experience, the increasingly outspoken Deanna—now Dee Rock—embraces freedom, fun and frat boys on her own terms, finding her true self in a senior year no one ever expected..
REVIEW: Can I tell you something? I love Melissa McCarthy! I first became acquainted with her work while watching Bridesmaids. No, that’s a lie but not an intentional lie. I did see her in the Gilmore Girls as Sookie, but she really didn’t stand out to me then. I don’t think that I have seen another actress since Carol Burnett who can truly embody so many different characters, believably!
I went to see this film originally because I needed a laugh and I knew that at the very least Ms. McCarthy would give me a chuckle. As my husband Cine Marcos said, he was expecting Ms. McCarthy to be funny but he thought this film might just be a cookie cutter comedy and not much else. Boy was he wrong! I laughed throughout and I laughed hard!
Imagine your world turning upside down one fine day as you drop off your beloved daughter at college on the first day of her senior year. But isn’t this a comedy, you ask? Hold on, give it a chance. Let me explain. The movie starts with a mom, Deana (Melissa McCarthy) and dad, Dan (Matt Wash) dropping their daughter off at their alma mater for her senior year. Oh, sorry, Dan’s alma mater because as he said, Deana didn’t finish. Can’t sugar coat it or delay it, Dan’s a jerk and Matt plays the part very well. Melissa plays Deana like a blend of every Midwestern stereotypical mom we’ve ever seen, bedazzled sweatshirts and all. She has put all she has into her family and is now ready to go off and enjoy time away in Italy with her husband and college sweetheart Dan. This is the moment Dan chooses to let Deana know that he wants a divorce. And so we begin.
What does a woman who has dedicated her life to being the best mom and wife she could be do? Well, she goes back to college to finish that degree she always wanted. So what if she and her daughter Maddie, played by Molly Gordon, will be at the same school at the same time. So what if Maddie’s friends really like Deana, like really like her. Maddie is initially dismayed but soon embraces it. I have to say I really like Maddie’s friends played by Jillian Jacobs, Adria Arjona and more. There are so many funny actors in this film, known and unknown. Julie Brown plays the other woman, Dan’s “upgrade” perfectly superficial and hateful. Maya Rudolf is hi-larious as Deana’s bored, wine cooler swilling best friend. The sight gags are hysterical, physical humor from Melissa is outstanding as usual and keep an eye out early for a cameo a la Stan Lee in Marvel films from Melissa’s husband and co-everything, Ben Falcone. I have to say that I feel that there were a few possibly good plot lines that were probably cut for the sake of time. Chris Parnell as Deanna’s professor, vaguely presents as a potential love interest and what about her agoraphobic roommate Leonor played by Heidi Gardner, who is mostly forgotten and then brought out at the last minute when convenient. Which leads me to Christina Aguilera’s cameo, which really didn’t make sense but if you’re an X-tina fan, well. To me the movie was a hoot even though I find mother/daughter walk of shame scenes a little questionable. Seeing as Mother’s day is this weekend, take your mom or take yourself. If you need a good laugh like I did, you won’t be disappointed.
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