Life of the Party Lifeless Comedy

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Life of the Party Blu-ray

Deanna and Dan just dropped off their daughter Maddie for her senior year of college. But before they have even left the campus, Dan drops a bomb on Deanna: He wants a divorce.

Shocked, Deanna makes the decision to complete her own senior year of college, which she dropped out of on the advice of her husband when she was pregnant. Thus begins Deanna's re-introduction to frat parties, ravers, keggers, concerts -- oh yes, and occasionally studying.

On its face, LIFE OF THE PARTY sounds like it would have the potential to be a remake of Rodney Dangerfield's BACK TO SCHOOL. But this Melissa McCarthy vehicle lacks any of the conflict driven comedy of that 80s classic. Instead of being mortified by being a classmate with her mother, Maddie (ANIMAL KINGDOM's Molly Gordon) welcomes her mother and introduces her to her sorority sisters, themselves a collection of misfits not seen since REVENGE OF THE NERDS' Omega Mu, participating with her in college hijinks and even taking a walk of shame with her after a party.

The only conflict of the film comes near the end when a rage-fueled stunt goes wrong at her ex-husband's wedding, and he cuts off her finances, leaving her unable to finish paying for school. But all it takes is a little white lie and a $20-a-head party at the sorority house to set things right again. All's well that ends well.

LIFE OF THE PARTY has potential in almost every scene to have been a really fun comedy. Unfortunately, every scene is built around the awkwardness of the situation, treated in the blandest ways possible. The opportunities were there, but moments that could have been laugh-out-loud funny are instead turned into overlong moments of discomfort. Rent it if there's absolutely nothing else on to watch.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0