"Marred by Some Salacious College Hijinks"
What You Need To Know:
LIFE OF THE PARTY has several hilarious scenes that are clean. In one, Deanna has a funny 1980s dance battle with a snooty, stuck-up college girl. Sadly, however, LIFE OF THE PARTY contains a surprising amount of lewd references and salacious behavior. For example, Deanna has a torrid affair with a fraternity guy half her age. LIFE OF THE PARTY also has more than 40 light profanities, plus more than 20 obscenities. Extreme caution is advised.
LIFE OF THE PARTY is a comedy about a middle-aged mother who decides to finish her college degree at her daughter’s university after the cheating father decides he wants a divorce. LIFE OF THE PARTY has several hilarious clean moments, such as a comical dance battle with a snooty college classmate, but the movie is marred by a surprising amount of lewd references and salacious behavior, along with an excessive number of light profanities.
The movie stars Melissa McCarthy as the mother, Deanna. After dropping their daughter, Maddie, off at college for her senior year, Deanna’s husband, Dan, tells her he wants a divorce because he’s been having an affair with a younger real estate agent, Marcie. Offensively, Dan tells Deanna he wants an “upgrade in my life with a new wife.”
After a sympathetic talk with her best friend, Christine, Deanna decides she will complete her senior year at college with her daughter. At first, Maddie is embarrassed by her mother, but Maddie’s friends love Deanna’s quirky energy and frank openness. Soon, even Maddie is enjoying her mother. She gives Deanna a quick makeover in the restroom at a fraternity party. Their efforts attract the interest of Jack, a tall and handsome fraternity guy with a generous spirit.
Eventually, the ex-husband’s belittling of his previous life with Deanna and Deanna’s new youthful confidence causes Deanna to strike out in revenge, which alienates her daughter. Can Deanna make amends and regain her daughter’s respect?
LIFE OF THE PARTY has several hilarious scenes and many jokes that are clean. In one scene, Deanna has a funny 1980s dance battle with a snooty, stuck-up college snob who looks down on her and her daughter. In another scene, an extremely nervous Deanna struggles to give an oral presentation in her archeology class. In a third scene, there’s a very funny unexpected twist that elicits some hilarious reactions from Deanna and her friend, Christine, who’s played by Maya Rudolph in a hilarious performance that’s worthy of a supporting actress comedy nomination at the Golden Globes.
Sadly, however, LIFE OF THE PARTY contains a surprising amount of lewd references and salacious behavior, along with an excessive number of light profanities. For example, in one scene, Deanna jokes about her private parts with her daughter. Also, Christiane and Christine’s husband are always looking for places where they can have marital sex; and, they usually find a place. Finally, Deanna has a hot affair with Jack, the fraternity guy who’s half her age. There are no actual bedroom scenes here, but it’s clear what’s happening in these salacious situations.
There are also more than 40 light profanities in LIFE OF THE PARTY, plus more than 20 obscenities. You know there’s a real problem with a movie when the profanities are about double the obscenities.
LIFE OF THE PARTY has a strong Romantic worldview encouraging people to follow their dreams and personal desires and lusts, including premarital sex. There are some light, morally uplifting connotations warning about going so far in that direction that you alienate and hurt others. Also, the movie has some positive, loving moments between the mother and her adult daughter, though the mother isn’t always a positive role model.
LIFE OF THE PARTY is funnier and better made than other Melissa McCarthy comedies, but it doesn’t always know where it’s going. The movie would benefit from a more cohesive, consistent narrative structure. The comedy is mostly in the tradition of Lucille Ball or Harold Lloyd, the silent comic who was always striving for a better life. As such, LIFE OF THE PARTY is also one of those modern comedies where the clean parts with less objectionable content are funnier in most cases than the bawdy bits. It’s clear that, if you truly have a real talent to make people laugh, as McCarthy does, you really don’t need to get too crude or lewd. For example, though even the Marx Brothers had a few jokes with some bawdy innuendo, it really wasn’t so offensive that you couldn’t take your family to see them at the movie theater. Harpo might chase the blonde, but he never really caught up with her.