Life of the Party, 6.4/10, is the latest comedic delight starring Melissa McCarthy. In true McCarthy style, she has us laughing throughout with her effortless humour and perfect timing. In Life of the Party, McCarthy plays Deanna – a 43 year old woman – who’s put her life on hold, since she dropped out of college 23 years ago, to become a full-time mum and devoted wife. However, when her jackass of a husband (Dan) drops the bombshell that he wants a divorce and has ‘upgraded’ to a new women, Deanna decides to finally focus on herself and prioritises what she wants for the first time in over two decades. For her, that entails returning to college and finishing her degree that she dropped out of all those years ago. I mean, what could be better than having your daughter as you’re study buddy? That’s right, her daughter is at the same college. I must admit, it sounds like the most cringeworthy situation you could imagine finding yourself in but, in fact, Deanna and her daughter, Maddie, have a wonderful relationship full of encouragement for each other’s inhibitions. The juxtaposition of the mother becoming the mothered is hilariously beautiful and watching the daughter reintroduce her mother to modern college life had me in stitches throughout. There is no half-heartedness when it comes to Deanna’s college experience; she doesn’t hesitantly dip her toe into the antics of college but instead, jumps straight in head first! The full package: sex, drugs and 80’s hair rolls.
The character growth of Deanna is one that your instantly onboard with. As the audience, you are rooting for her and are desperate to see her succeed. You empathise with the unfair hand she has been dealt with after sacrificing herself for many years for the benefit of those she loves. But how could she fail when she has the unwavering support of her sorority sisters and her best friend (played by Maya Rudolph)? The character of her best friend Christine was a personal favourite of mine within this movie and their close friendship must have been easy to portray due to their offscreen relationship. This film is yet another amusing, entertaining and side-splitting comedy under McCarthy and Falcone’s belt. The undeniably talented couple certainly seem to have the knack for directing and starring in satire classics – a marriage made in comedic heaven.