The hilarious minds of Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are at it again along with Warner Bros. for another chance at being “Life of the Party.”
Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) and husband Dan (Matt Walsh) are dropping off daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) for her final year at college. Excited about their upcoming trip to Italy, Deanna is thrown a curve pizza when Dan announces 50 feet from the dorm steps that he wants a divorce.
Deanna is thrown to learn that he has been having a fling with a real estate agent named Marci (Julie Bowen). Going to her own parents, Sandi (Jackie Weaver) and Mike (Stephen Root), they argue sandwiches and not finishing college. That’s when Deanna makes a decision that needs one other person’s input — daughter Maddie.
Deanna announces that she is going back to school to finish the last year and get her degree in archeology. Maddie is happy but uneasy about sharing the college life with her mother. Thrilled for her is bestie Christine (Maya Rudolph) and Maddie’s friends Amanda (Adria Arjona), Debbie (Jessie Ennis) and Helen (Gillian Jacobs).
Moving into the dorm, roommate Leonor (Heidi Gardner) is a little Goth and a little sunshine deprived. Immediately, Maddie and the girls decide that Deanna needs to experience a college party. After a quick change of appearance, she meets Jack (Luke Benward) and wakes to the morning walk of shame.
Quickly, Deanna gets into the groove of studying, being part of the girls’ lives and occasionally meeting up with Jack. Keeping Christine informed of her antics, she learns that ex-hubby Dan is already making plans to get remarried. Leave it to the girls to make sure that she doesn’t spend that day alone, but after a few party favors, they take their act on the reception road.
That sets into motion the news that Deanna doesn’t have the money to finish college. Of course, needing a reason to have a party in college isn’t a required, but this might be the exception!
McCarthy as Deanna is sweet, charming, motherly and a tad embarrassing, but don’t let that fool you when it comes to being protective. She has her ways of making sure that no one changes who she wants to be, so don’t let the curls fool you. McCarthy delivers comedy that is so relatable and, in fact, the character of Deanna is someone we all know. Well, maybe not the tacky sweaters, but the situation of loving being a wife and mother until you realize one of those wasn’t real. McCarthy is a gal I’d love to hang out with. Plan to laugh at the movie — A LOT!
Rudolph as Christine is the best partner-in-crime to have and will take a body shot while still loving you. Living a tad vicariously through Deanna, Christine doesn’t have it so bad at home. I mean, any husband who gets hot about his middle-aged wife in ankle socks doesn’t have much to complain about in life. Rudolph is funny and another chick I’d love to hang out with.
Gordon as Maddie isn’t completely thrilled to discover mom is going to share her final year of college. Once seeing her friends are on board with it, Maddie knows mom isn’t trying to take anything from her. Jacobs as Helen is a bit disturbing and completely hilarious. Ennis as Debbie and Arjona as Amanda completely love having Deanna around. Benward as Jack loves having Deanna around for completely different reasons!
Gardner as Leonor is completely misunderstood but takes a ninja-like liking to her dorm mate. Weaver as mom Sandi just wants everyone to have a sandwich and dad Mike just wants to shoot Dan — typical parents.
Walsh as Dan is a dude who is literally being led around by his — ummm — earring. Bowen as Marci is a woman who demands control of every aspect of her life and her soon-to-be-husbands as well. Jones as Christine’s husband Frank goes along to get along!
Other cast includes Sarah Baker as Gildred, Nax Faxon as Lance, Shannon Purser as Connie, Chris Parnell as Mr. Truzack, Debbie Ryan as Jennifer, Jimmy O. Yang as Tyler, Leli Hernandez as Mia, Yani Simone as Trina, Damon Jones as Frank, Michele Jang as Linda, Chris Cavalier as Eugene, Christina Aguilera and Ben Falcone as the Uber Driver.
“Life of the Party” is completely hysterical, full of surprises and loaded with charm and oh so much fun. I would expect nothing less from McCarthy and Falcone, who seem to just embrace the silliness of life. The cast is just perfect, lending their own unique characters to a loaded film of funny.
I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to have to see the film again because there were times I was laughing so hard I missed a line or two. “Life of the Party” is a film I absolutely won’t mind seeing again and again.
In the end — give life the old college try!