Life of the Party might have a few laughs here and there but it is ultimately quite boring and has very little to offer the comedy genre.
Director: Ben Falcone
Summary: After her husband abruptly asks for a divorce, a middle-aged mother returns to college in order to complete her degree.
The thing that is the most surprising about Life of the Party is how forgettable it is. It’s odd when movies have virtually no impact one way or another. A bad movie is a good reason to get riled up and have plenty to say, a mediocre one can at least be entertaining, and it’s always fun to talk about the things you love. The things that are barely entertaining aren’t very fun to write about because there isn’t much to say. Life of the Party makes the wise decision, early on, to ditch the rivalry between mother and daughter, which means that it is largely about a mother and daughter supporting each other. It’s probably the right way to go but it does mean that the central conflict is resolved pretty early on.
The rest of the movie becomes a bunch of set pieces about whether or not Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) will complete her degree without sending her daughter straight to a therapist. The movie plays with the idea of an older woman hooking up with an eager younger man and the idea of having to do the walk of shame with your mother out of a frat house. There isn’t any deeper meaning to the story overall. Deanna and her ex-husband don’t come to a mutual understanding by the end. The idea of “acting your age” apparently doesn’t apply when it comes to not being horrible to your ex.
A comedy should be funny at the end of the day, and while this one has a few laughs, you’ll find yourself sitting back and not reacting rather than laughing. There isn’t anything overly offensive here either, and the movie strays away from any gross out humor or anything that crosses the line too. It also plays up the stereotype of the “mean girls” which is much more high school than college. The characters felt extremely out of place, and any time we went back to them being terrible, it didn’t feel like it fit the rest of the movie.
Life of the Party is like water vapor; it’s here and then it’s gone without leaving a trace. There isn’t a chance this will be remembered in a month or even a week as it gets lost in Avengers: Infinity War’s third week and Deadpool 2 next week.
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