Life of the Party
Reviewed by: Greg Mueller
I love Melissa McCarthy and both of the characters she plays in all of her movies. Life of the party is a mix of both her characters, but it's missing what I liked about them. The idea of the movie is solid and I do buy McCarthy as sweet, naive, lovable mom but she just doesn't have the charm she has in Mike and Molly. When she embraces the college life, we get bits of her raunchy, inappropriate character, but she never takes it to the levels we've come to expect after Bridesmaids and the Heat. I really wanted to like the movie, but it spends too much time on the relationship between McCarthy and her character's daughter at the expense of the comedy and there the entire story with Hey Jesse was dumb and should have been cut. I can feel the love that went into the movie, but I just don't get any out of it. There were a few good scenes, but it only got a handful of chuckles. With just a few tweaks, this could be a drama, but then the acting becomes a problem. I know that Gillian Jacobs can act; she's proven that she knows what she's doing. But, in Life of the Party, you'd think she's just a random no-name they found at a Toledo Starbucks. Her face just does things. Even when she's in the background, she's making unnerving faces. In the beginning, I though she was going to be the antagonist based on the look, of what I interpreted as disgust, on her face. She does a terrible job. Molly Gordon does some terrible acting too, but at least she's not distracting. She has no emotion and doesn't seem to understand the tone of the scenes, but she's not making lemon faces for no reason. The elevator pitch is so promising: Melissa McCarthy is a grown ass woman who goes the college with her daughter. Of all the McCarthy movies I've seen, this one is at the bottom.