of the Party
You expect a comedy to have some silly moments, and this one does.
But it also enjoys some LOL scenes, interspersed with some genuine
Melissa McCarthy plays Deanna, a middle-aged woman who didn't
finish her last year of university herself, because she was pregnant with
her first child, Maddie (Molly Gordon).
Now Deanna and her husband have just dropped off Maddie for her
senior year in college, when he drops the bombshell:
he wants a divorce. He's
fallen in love with their realtor. And
they've already decided to sell the house, since it was in his name only,
Deanna is devastated, but her best friend, Christine (Maya
Rudolph), tells her that this might be her big opportunity to finish
college herself. So she
enrolls in Decatur University, yes, the same school as her daugther, but
promises she won't get in the way. But
she can't help herself, she visits her daughter at her sorority house, and
the “sisters” there are so enamored with Deanna that they make her an
You'd expect that Melissa McCarthy will make fun of her own body
type, which she does. She
also delivers cringing toasts when they're all taking shots at a party.
She dances with such abandon that you can't help but laugh with
her. She even meets a frat guy
who seems really interested in her; a matchup which her daugther does not
want to think too much about.
They manage to milk some humor out of the divorce proceedings by
dealing with a mediator who asks that all conversation be directed toward
her, so they oblige by spewing their mutual insults at her.
But there are some tender moments, as well.
One of the sorority girls is having a tough time, so Deanna makes
her lasagna. The sorority
sisters admit to some insecurity about their looks, and Deanna helps build
their self-confidence by assuring them that they're beautiful (and smart,
and talented). When one of the
campus “mean girls” gets in a catfight with a sorority sister, Deanna
breaks it up, and reminds them that we women need to stick together.
As with any comedy, some of the attempted humor falls flat, like
when Deanna gets nervous making a class presentation, and sweats a lot.
Or when she and the archaeology professor (an old classmate) trade
puns. But it's an upbeat,
elongated-sitcom type of comedy that won't do any harm, and just might be
good for a few laughs.