Name: Life Of The Party
The wild nights of university… with your mum?? Strange concept to even think of, but did it work? I wouldn’t say it’s the worst film ever, far from it, but I felt most of the comedy and jokes throughout the film were more missing than hitting.
Life of the Party starts with devoted Soccer Mom, Deanna Miles (Melissa McCarthy), seeing her daughter Maddy (Molly Gordon) off to her last year of college. But her husband Dan (Matt Walsh) decides he has had enough and drops a bombshell of wanting a divorce while driving away. BOOM! Deanna is hit with a life altering event, urging her to look for a new direction in her life. She decides to return to college to finish off her degree in anthropology. The over clingy mum for some reason thinks its a good idea to go to the same college as her daughter. As you can imagine, the predicable behaviour starts with embarrassing herself and her daughter in front of everyone.
For me, the movie didn’t hit it’s climax of potential, with plenty of jokes and scenes feeling outdated, overused and feeling oddly familiar to movies already done. What saved this movie for me was Melissa McCarthy as I genuinely find her hilarious, but I felt like I constantly wanted more.
Breaking down the movie, it feels like the pace of the film is too fast, trying to squeeze in as many sketch scenes as possible, making it impossible to build an emotional connection with the characters. Even from the start there was a lack of emotion and context. The bombshell of the divorce for example comes out of nowhere, it just happens. This keeps happening throughout the film, going from A to Z without any meaningful dialogue making it very unbelievable and wooden.
This leads perfectly into my next issue, the lack of believability effected the humour for me. Let’s say that we believe a daughter would be ok with their embarrassing mum attending the same school as them. Helps her join the same sorority and befriended her friendship group. They attend a 80s themed frat party and all break out into a perfectly choreographed dance number – even though Deanna is two decades older than the rest of the friends. Humorous? Yes! Believable? Not so much. This isn’t the only time, but one that stood out. Another example is Deanna’s young love interest, falling completely and utterly in love with her after their first visit. It may not bother everyone, but it bothered me.
I find McCarthy great and she is a very talented actress making me literally laugh out loud, but the film focuses on her too much. She totally deserves the credit for this film, she made it worth a watch. With most of the energy throughout the film coming from her, the remainder of the cast and storylines seemed dry.
McCarthy turned up to the party… unfortunately the rest of the production didn’t get the invite.