Film Review: Life of the Party (2018)

‘It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t funny, it wasn’t not funny’

2018 in Cinema:

Life of the Party, 2018

Directed by: Ben Falcone

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, Molly Gordon, Stephen Rot, Jacki Weaver


After dropping their daughter, Maddie (Molly Gordon), off at university, Dan (Matt Walsh) announces to Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) that he wants a divorce. Feeling regretful over not finishing college first-time round (she was persuaded, when pregnant, by Dan to drop out of her final year), Deanna decides to finish off her college studies and rejoins the final year of her course (I’m not sure how the American system works but apparently you can finish off the final year 20-years later) alongside her daughter. Maddie initially is horrified by having to go to college with her mother but Deanna soon finds a new lease of life which Maddie soon embraces.

I’m struggling to find too much to say about this film; it wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t funny, it wasn’t not funny. American comedies are ten a penny so for one to stand out it needs something unique or a really funny script. This unfortunately doesn’t own either. The humour of an older woman going back to college wears thin really quickly (especially considering I was technically a ‘mature student’) and there isn’t enough tension between Deanna and Maddie early on; Maddie looks horrified but borderline immediately accepts it and embraces Deanna as part of their sorority. The friends that are all there are also funny for about two lines of dialogue in the film, other than that they’re so obviously fake that it takes away from buying into them. One girl doesn’t leave her dorm room, one girl asks permission to speak, one girl has been in a coma for eight years; none of these are exciting characters. Even Maddie is quite plain and doesn’t have much of a story ark. There’s also Dan’s new wife who’s an evil woman and the bullies in the school classroom and a teacher who loves Deanna. Not one of these characters interesting me.

I also don’t fully understand the point of Deanna’s journey; she meets a younger man who is infatuated with her and they begin a romance but that doesn’t last until the end, she makes new friends but it’s difficult to imagine that continuing after graduation, her husband’s now married off and we don’t see much of the divorce. She doesn’t even grow too much as a person (it’s also hard to tell because we’re given very little of her beforehand).

I’m sorry this review isn’t much longer but there really isn’t too much to talk about here. It was a film, and that’s about all I can say. I laughed a couple of times, but I can guarantee I’ll have forgotten all about this film in a few months.


Personal: * *     Acting: * *     Writing: * *     Presentation: * *

Overall Rating: * *

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