Life of the Party

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Director: Ben Falcone

Genre: Comedy

Year: 2018

Yes, I know I have yet another comedy film review coming your way, but hear me out. Comedy films are exceedingly underrated in the cinematic universe. There was a time when comedies ruled over film, the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton spearheading the craft. Escapism has been its own genre for decades, limited not only to comedies, but musicals as well. One of the best ways for an audience to bond is through the power of laughter. Not only that, but who doesn’t love an underdog comeback story? LIFE OF THE PARTY combines all of these elements to create what may be the best comedy of 2018.

LIFE OF THE PARTY was directed by Ben Falcone and is written by Falcone and Melissa McCarthy. This comedic adventure is about a recently divorced middle-aged mom who goes back to college with her daughter to get the degree she missed out on. Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy are actually married, have two kids, and have worked together on several projects, both as actors, writers, and actor/director, from THE BOSS to TAMMY. McCarthy is one of my favorite actresses currently in the industry, so I entered the theater with high hopes and they were certainly met—I also appreciate the break from Amy Schumer.

Life of the Party makeup

Melissa McCarthy looks better than I do when I try to put the same amount of makeup on my face

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I have cried at many a sad movie, but rarely do I have tears coming out of my eyes from laughter. LIFE OF THE PARTY had me crying oceans. To say that I was howling would be an understatement. This film had a beautifully integrated combination of various different comedic styles, including slapstick, cringe, one-liners, topical comedy, and so many others. There was a joke for anyone and everyone in the audience. Being in college myself, I was able to connect with this movie on such an intensely relatable level, especially with McCarthy’s character. I understand not everyone can relate to with going to college specifically, but I’m sure that the majority of audiences can relate to getting back up after a pretty hard fall, climbing back up, and bettering themselves through whatever process necessary. I can’t say it enough: we love a good comeback!

Melissa McCarthy was without a doubt the shining star of this film. Her deliveries were always on point, not a single one of her jokes faltered, and she knows how to be serious and genuine when she needs to be. This role called for all of these requirements to be met and she passed with flying colors. Speaking of colors, even though the main character goes through some hard times, the film was always brightly lit and cheerful. There is an important message to be found there: smile no matter what happens, or whatever suits your needs. The only element of this film that I didn’t enjoy was Debby Ryan’s character, the token mean girl. Not that Debby Ryan did a bad job, it’s just that mean girls aren’t really a thing in college. Sure, you have mean people and popular people, but no one is doing the whole obnoxiously bitchy thing at this age. If they do, they’re definitely not getting invited to parties. So that whole story line wasn’t even a little realistic, but that is my sole complaint.

Life of the Party Melissa

So much sass, confusion, and fear in one photo

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There is nothing better than a good, deep stomach laugh. The kind that make your abs sore with no sound actually coming out of your mouth. Comedies like this have you leaving the theater feeling refreshed, relaxed, and without a care in the world. LIFE OF THE PARTY is exactly that type of movie. With my finals week just around the corner, this Melissa McCarthy hit was precisely what I needed to escape for a couple of hours. If you too need to forget about the world for a little while and just want to have a great, enjoyable time, then I suggest you buy a ticket now.

Verdict: Recommend

Emma Wine is a film studies major at Chapman University with a particular interest in horror and drama films. She can usually be found on her laptop, shopping for makeup, and drinking a chai latte.

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