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“Life of The Party” Movie Review

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LIFE OF THE PARTY tells the story of longtime dedicated housewife Deanna(Melissa McCarthy) who, when her husband suddenly dumps her, turns regret into re-set by going back to college—alongside her daughter—and plunging headlong into the campus experience!

 

The movie opens with upbeat housewife Deanna(Melissa McCarthy) and her husband Dan (Mike Walsh) dropping their only daughter Maddie (played by Molly Gordon) off for her senior year at college. Deanna is the epitome of the loyal wife and mother( sporting coiffed 50’s inspired hairdo and a pink sweatshirt labeled “Proud Mom”.  Mike thinks this is the perfect time to tell his wife that he wants a divorce and simply does not love her anymore. Melissa makes us feel Deanna’s pain as she goes from shocked, confused and angry showing her craft as a deft dramatic actress.

 

In attempt to regain her identity of self and her dreams which she gave up to become a wife and mother, Deanna decides to back to college. And not just any college but the one her daughter is now attending. Yes, the plot is bit weak and predictable, and the whole sex thing with the college jock as Deanna explores her newfound sexulaity could have been left out of the film. There are some genuine moments in the film especially as Deanna begins to realize attending the same college as your daughter might not be such a great idea. And yes it is full of cliches, which at times made it a bit cheesy and over the top. For instance, there is the scene where Maddie takes her Mom into the bathroom, removes her glasses, tames her fifties coiffed curls, trashes her frumpy frock, adds different lip color and like Cinderella Deanna is transformed into a sexy woman as she struts her stuff attracting the young  sexy college hunk.

 

But I did enjoy watching Melissa navigate the world of getting her power back and finding her own way. So what if the film relied on some standard comedic plot lines and maybe a little to simplistic in other areas. It is a film about bonding between a mother and a daughter and a woman deciding no matter her age or situation, its okay to believe in yourself and live your dream.  We had fun watching this film and yes Melissa did make us laugh. Talented Maya Rudolph was fun to watch as Deanna’s long time friend and confidante.

 

LIFE OF THE PARTY is directed by Ben Falcone and stars McCarthy, alongside Gillian Jacobs (“Don’t Think Twice,” “Love,” “Community”), Maya Rudolph (“Bridesmaids,” “Sisters”), Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”), Matt Walsh (“Veep,” “Ghostbusters”), Molly Gordon (“Love the Coopers,” “Animal Kingdom”), with Stephen Root (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”), and Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “Animal Kingdom”), Jessie Ennis (“Better Call Saul”), Adria Arjona (“True Detective,” “Emerald City”), Debby Ryan (“Jessie”) and Jimmy O. Yang (“Silicon Valley”).

McCarthy and Falcone co-wrote the screenplay and produced through their production company, On the Day.  Chris Henchy also produced the film, with Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco and David Siegel serving as executive producers.  New Line Cinema Presents an On the Day Production, “Life of the Party.” In theaters on May 11, 2018, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

 

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