She started out as Sooki St. James cooking up a storm, she stole the show and puppies on Bridesmaids, and she joked her way into our hearts with Mike and Molly. Yes, she is Melissa McCarthy, and she is the star of tonight’s film. With mediocre advertising and unfortunate timing, this movie is going to try to rake a few scraps of the box office to hopefully survive another weekend of run time. Was it worth a trip to the theater? Did it deliver what was promised? Robbie K here to help guide you with a written review to expand on his thoughts and help spend your money wisely. Let’s get started as we look over:
Movie: Life of The Party
Cute: The movie is unfortunately timed near some of the biggest Disney movies of the year, but it is also nicely timed on the weekend of Mother’s Day. As such, this film goes alongside this theme, capturing the essence of the mother-daughter bond among McCarthy and her brood of eager college seniors. Like a remake of Troop Beverly Hills and the House Bunny, Life of The Party has that adorable energy packed inside, attempting to captivate the target audience.
Flashback Syndrome: The movie tries to hit on a few big aspects of college life, doing a fair job to take you back in time to those glorious, or perhaps not so glorious college days. Life of The Party touching on awkward roommates, fraternity rituals, class studying, and parties makes for some dynamic opportunities for fun and adventure to rope you in.
Good Music: A movie like this is always an opportunity to introduce, or reintroduce, some hits that are often in theme of the movie scenes. With partying displays in this movie, the music director did a nice job selecting a track list that works so well with the ups and downs of the film. And given the trends of the songs these days, you can expect some comedic antics to be heavily reliant on the song for setup (see 80’s dance off).
Messages: I’m a sucker for good morals being displayed in a movie, and fortunately a movie about the wilder sides of college life has some kernels of wisdom deep beneath the partying service. D-Rock’s journey back to college involves copious amounts of work, striving to face her own demons, and more importantly the importance of empathy winning out in the day. Yeah, there are some juvenile and rambunctious aspects that heavily coat these core values in a greasy layer of slime, but the writers eventually accomplish delivering these valued lessons.
Shallower Aspects Take Precedence: While there are solid core values, the shallower aspects are heavily emphasized in this movie. Life of The Party’s title is no lie and the film is a big budget advertisement for wine, beer, and frat parties that state this is the real core of college. In addition, many of the other girls have highly mocking flaws that get little evolution, further highlighting the “important” aspects of higher learning.
The Lack of Story: As said in my pre-review vlog, movies with McCarthy can be fantastic if there is a purpose to ground the humor. Life of The Party is not one of those movies, going more for the how many jokes can we throw into a 2-hour run time. While I didn’t expect much from the trailers, I had hoped the plot would not be as paper thin as this movie held within it. For one thing the movie tried too hard to put so many aspects in the movie, making much of D-Rock’s problems disjointed and uninteresting. The other girls get hints of getting more development, but most get dunce caps in character development, merely being comedic props/ploys for more jokes. Even McCarthy’s character has inconsistent development, a roller coaster ride with sharp rises and falls that rapidly solve everything.
Drags: The movie did not have a good pace for me, feeling very sluggish for most of the films. Primarily at the first part of the movie, Life of The Party makes minutes feel like hours as one hopes we can arrive at the fun times, but only get paper thin qualities that are chuckle worthy at best. It was not the most entertaining movie, and therefore left me feeling bored at times, which brings me to the next dislike.
Forced Comedy: The movie’s primary dislike, is that the comedy is very forced for me for much of the movie. For one thing, the writing was not as clever as I had hoped, designed to relentlessly drown you in cheap laughs, meme worthy one-liners, and girl drama that is more eye-rolling than comedic. Second, the delivery of the movie is okay for the most part but seemed to be directed at overdramatic presentation that was geared to characters’ stupidity or ignorance. Finally, the tactics lacked any real diversity, leading to a tidal wave of blandness that diminished with every telling. So, fans of the theory if it isn’t broke don’t fix it will get their money’s worth with this rigidly stiff presentation.
In regards to this film, Life of The Party does not deceive you with the trailer, delivering what was expected as shallow laughs, loads of silly humor, with a nice cute center. Sadly, the movie really needed a touch of creativity to lighten it up, bring some wit to the deluge of low key jokes, and most importantly expand upon the characters that are the key selling point. It’s not the worst film of hers to come out, but it is also not her best and I can’t recommend this one for the theater viewing and to hold until Redbox. Still, a mother-daughter bonding experience can be an exception if you are looking for that opportunity this weekend.
My Scores are:
Movie Overall: 4.0