By Khaleel Herbert
“Life of the Party” is a new comedy penned by Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy (the married duo who brought you “Tammy” and “The Boss.”) mixing the comedy of “Tammy” with the companionship of “Girls Trip” and “Dead Poets Society.”
McCarthy plays Deanna, a mother whose world is flipped upside down when her husband Dan (Matt Walsh) plays the Big D card. Divorce. He’s in love with a real estate agent (Julie Bowen). A glum Deanna decides to attend her alma mater to finish her anthropology degree. She couldn’t finish school since she and Dan tied the knot and she was pregnant with Maddie (Molly Gordon).
Deanna hooks up with Maddie and her friends (Gillian Jacobs, Jessie Ennis, and Adria Arjona). The group gets Deanna into a string of college fun from partying and drinking to eating marijuana bark.
For McCarthy fans, you’ll enjoy this film no doubt. Instead of the aggressive McCarthy in “Spy,” “Tammy,” “The Heat” and “Identity Thief,” McCarthy brings a tender loving side to “Life of the Party.” She’s the mom people can identify with and has a warm spirit that makes it hard to hate her. It’s fun watching her initiation into her daughter’s sorority, bringing sunshine to her dark anti-social roommate (Heidi Gardner) and having a hanky panky in the library with young stud, Jack (Luke Benward).
Maya Rudolph brings the funny as Deanna’s loud and supportive best friend, Christine. Every scene with Christine makes you laugh because she speaks her mind, especially when she goes with Deanna to file the divorce with Dan, which leads to a heated debate. Another great scene was when Deanna, Christine and a few friends meet up for dinner at a restaurant. Dan and the real estate agent arrive and announce they’re getting married. One friend claps and Christine fusses at him to “read the room.” The friend is embarrassed for clapping.
The only hiccup in “Life of the Party” is Deanna only attends one class. Usually college students have more than one class to attend.
“Life of the Party” it not only a gut-buster, but a vivid reminder that you’re never too old to go back to school and you’re never too old to learn something new, similar to “An Extremely Goofy Movie.” Also, it’s always great to form a tight circle of friends who love and support each other like in “Dead Poets Society” and “Girls Trip.” There’s even an appearance from Christina Aguilera. What more do you need to see “Life of the Party?”
Studio: Warner Bros. (1 hr 45 mins)
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Molly Gordon, Debby Ryan, Adria Arjona, Heidi Gardner, Christina Aguilera
Director: Ben Falcone
Story: A mother decides to go back to her alma mater to earn her anthropology degree.
Final Score: A