Life of the Party — 2.5 Gavels 37% Rotten Tomatoes

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Sometimes, less is more.  Melissa McCarthy believes that if she talks fast and non-stop that she will inevitably say something funny.  And, it works, but just not often enough to make the wait worthwhile.  But, it could just be me.  There were Melissa McCarthy fans in the audience and they gave her a smattering of applause at the movie’s end.  There are some funny parts, but most involving Maya Rudolph.  Perhaps they should have switched roles.  I think McCarthy is an acquired taste; a taste I haven’t acquired.  Admittedly, I am looking forward to seeing her next movie Can You Ever Forgive Me.  The previews give her a chance to act, not just be silly.

Dee and Dan have just dropped their daughter, Maddie, at Decatur University for her senior year.  As they depart, Dee discusses their pending four week vacation in Italy.  Dan says he wants a divorce.  After much sobbing, Dee decides to go back to school to finish her senior year at Decatur.  Maddie wants to be supportive but has major concerns about her mom being on the same campus.  Surprisingly, Maddie’s friends really like the idea.  It is not long before they take her to a campus party where Dee runs into the mean girls.  A quick makeover, and Dee also meets a boy half her age.

McCarthy is Dee.  If you like her movies, you will like this one.  Molly Gordon is Maddie.  She did well as the mostly understanding daughter.  It will be interesting to see where her career goes from here.  Maya Rudolph steals the movie as Dee’s best friend.  The movie needed more of her.  Gillian Jacobs is the stereotypical dumb blonde, nothing new here.  Julie Bowen has a  very small part as Dan’s mistress, clearly a waste of her comedic talent.

If you see the movie, the divorce mediation  and restaurant scenes are good.  Critics complain that this is merely a remake of Rodney Dangerfield’s Back To School.  Sorry, I missed that one.  Overall, I think the critics got this one right.  Dee attends several parties, but just doesn’t become the life of the party at any of them.  Understandable, of course, given the age difference.  The kids accept Dee, and even like her, but life of the party is a step too far.  McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone, co-wrote this script.  Falcone directed.  I can’t recommend you spend your hard-earned bucks on this one.

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