One thing that has become clear with Hollywood comedies is that there really aren’t any jokes in these films. It’s just a series of awkward events that only works if the audience is laughing. Case in point, the latest film starring Melissa McCarthy Life Of The Party. Melissa stars as Deanna, a middle-aged woman who got smacked down with a divorce as her daughter enters her senior year of college. So with nothing going in her life, she decides that she will also go to college and finish her senior year that she quit over 20 years ago.
Life Of The Party is a film with very few jokes. A joke is usually a setup and a punchline, usually, great punchlines make for great jokes which makes for great comedies. What happens in this film is you have random characters having a conversation and someone will say something really stupid, then Melissa McCarthy will just improv for a minute straight trying to squeeze as much awkward laughter out of the scene as possible.
A recurring theme here is that Melissa will say something kinda funny which gets a chuckle out of me, and then she will continue the bit for another 20-30 seconds, almost as if she is explaining the joke which not only makes is not funny anymore but you’ll regret laughing in the first place. Think RedLetterMedia if their bad comedy was supposed to be taken seriously. There is no reason this film needed to be almost 2 hours long because the fact that this goes on and on for roughly 100 minutes makes it very painful watch at times.
Now the film does improve in the later stages, there is a truly hilarious twist in the film that is hands down the best part of the movie. You almost think the film is about to turn that corner and become good, but the cliché ending really exposes just how one note and empty this film is. Outside of McCarthy, who rarely makes you laugh consistently, Life Of The Party is barely worth a rental from the shallow bin of Hollywood comedy.