“Life of the Party” proves that married couples shouldn’t make movies together. What did America not learn from the cinematic droppings of Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin? Don’t force your marital bliss on America, the common vulgarity hates it. Don’t compare this feature to Back to School. Lazy writers will feel the urge, but you have got to fight it with every ounce of your being. Stare this beast in the eye and cast it back to where it came.

Let’s play a little inside baseball. I was going to post the review earlier today, but WB had the review embargo placed so deep into the Thursday before release that it messed up my plans. While no studio should have to worry about being convenient to writers, it should be a tip-off that they’re trying to hide a movie. This isn’t out of the norm, but it’s the first time in 2018 where it has been so egregious. Hell, I think “Breaking In” had less hoops to jump through this week.


“Life of the Party” asks that you buy rude people having common marriage problems as being life-altering events. Thankfully, you have Maya Rudolph playing the drunk minority friend that’s always down for some racquetball and trash talking. When you get past that and McCarthy reconnecting with her daughter, then there’s the adversaries. The least convincing school bullies team up to tell Old Lady McCarthy that she’s not wanted at school. I used to get mad when people were meant to Sookie, but that has ended.

There are jokes about sex, personality quirks and even a forced 80s party sequence. Everyone is defined enough to serve McCarthy’s character, as the director Falcone seems to spend the film shooting as he’s lead by the nose. Where “Tammy” and “The Boss” had some teeth that came with its R-rating, “Life of the Party” is the safest PG-13 movie to drop in time for Mother’s Day weekend.


This film plays like three unrelated TV pilots stitched together and then locked away in a vault for years. As the film tries to pad itself out with a forced fundraiser party, you’re going to be groaning loud enough that the theater manager will come into the auditorium. While this man/woman/sentient mop tries to shuffle you out the door, this film finds a way to turn Christina Aguilera into the entire third act. If you’re an upstanding citizen, you will already be throwing your feces at the screen.

This movie needs your shit mark on it. AMC will find a way to understand what you did, but they’ll have to move quickly to clean it. This movie will probably be out of said theater by early June. So, what’s the grand takeaway? As much as I’m looking forward to McCarthy playing Lee Israel in the Fall, these hubbie/wife team-up movies have got to end. Three movies tends to be about the end of the road for these couplings. Your career will thank you, Sookie.


  • PG-13
  • 1 hr and 45 mins
  • Warner Brothers


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