The Life of the Party

Weak plot, recycled and tired jokes

By Adam Staten

Regrets are a big part of life, whether we’d like to admit it or not.  They may come in the form of mistakes or as opportunities not taken. We can only hope that those regrets are minimized and that we don’t spend a considerable amount of time dwelling on them. However, sometimes there are second chances, opportunities to go back and correct those regrets, hoping for a better outcome. One recently released film is about regrets and having the chance to correct them.

The Life of the Party is the story of Deanna (Melissa McCarthy), who in the opening scene, is dropping off her daughter for her senior year of college. Little does Deanna know that her life is about to dramatically change just mere seconds after leaving her daughter at college. Needless to say, Deanna is absolutely devastated, left reeling and trying to make sense of her life as she attempts to figure out her next move.

Luckily, Deanna doesn’t spend much time wallowing in her pain. Instead, she decides to use her newfound free time to correct one of the biggest regrets in her life: never graduating from college. And as luck would have it, Deanna knows just the place to pick up her studies. While Deanna is psyched about her new direction in life, her daughter is a little less thrilled. However, as the film continues, Deanna, her daughter and a number of other characters in the film learn a little more about themselves, with quite a few laughs thrown in along the way.

In the world of comedy, Melissa McCarthy is one of the most popular and most recognizable figures. However, due in large part to her breakout, Oscar-nominated performance in Bridesmaids, she has kind of played the same character over and over. Unfortunately, that is the case in Life of the Party. It’s not that she isn’t good as the loud, socially awkward, fish-out-of-water character; it’s just that we’ve seen this 15 times before. McCarthy’s repetitiveness in character leads to other problems in the film as well.

As much as her character is a repeat from a number of her previous films, a high number of the jokes are also recycled, tired and can be seen coming from a mile away. While the plot is somewhat enjoyable, it’s still far too predictable. Even the “twists” are telegraphed pretty far in advanced.

The Life of the Party is another typical Melissa McCarthy movie with a weak plot and even weaker jokes. 2.5 out of 5.