Film Review: Life of the Party

Written by Tracy Fuller

Melissa McCarthy has been on a roll over the last few years, making her impact in the movie industry. Most of the films may not be the movie of the year caliber, but they are films that envoke the human heart and a massive splash of laughter. She is one of the most consistent and successful comedians working in Hollywood today. Her efforts do not stop with her newest film, Life of the Party.

One of the elements of McCarthy’s consistency is the type of particular role that she plays in a specific vein of modern comedy. Roles, where she is less occupied in making the viewers laugh out loud than it is making them taste a kind of humorous empathy with characters. She’s used a mixture of her excellent comic timing, honesty and gonzo nature massively over the last decade.

In Life of the Party, she portrays Deanna, newly divorced and remorseful that she never completed her college degree. So, seeing a chance, she registers at the same college her daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) is attending. This presents opportunities for both problems and mother-daughter bonding.

The tone of the narrative is a common one; a woman being asked to put her life goals on hold for her husband’s success. Until he abandons her due to living a “boring” life.

As Deanna embraces fulfilling her dreams to be an archeologist, there are moments and situations where things become awkward and embarrassing, not only for her but Maddie. The story leaves plenty of opportunities for jokes and scenarios based on Deanna’s age and appearance.

Now I must admit, the beginning of the film seemed abrupt and challenging to hold traction regarding the plot. It seemed a little forced. However, it quickly corrects itself and captivates the attention of the audience.

The film comes full circle, filled with heartfelt emotion and laughs that will leave a smile on your face by the end of it. This is an enjoyable movie, and I recommend it. It has some mild nudity and minimal drug usage, so it is not for little ones. It would serve great as a date night or just a night out.