After watching "Life of the Party," college women everywhere will want their mothers to join them on campus.
Deanna, played by Melissa McCarthy, is the picture-perfect mother, student and lover. She springs back after her deadbeat husband Dan, played by Matt Walsh, leaves her for a slim, sexy realtor named Marcie. After convincing her hesitant daughter Maddie, played by Molly Gordon, to welcome her on campus, Deanna makes her mark at Decatur University.
The movie is roll-on-the-floor hilarious and had tears falling for many. McCarthy had the role down. She sold the body language of a mother living in a 21-year-old's world. The script flowed well and showcased the strong partnership between McCarthy and Ben Falcone, director, writer and producer.
"Life of the Party" is full of life. McCarthy acts with firm optimism, giving her character the motherly high ground many would expect while showcasing the low points through an early morning walk of shame. The mother-daughter banter will hit home for any pair and the theater-wide disdain for Dan pulled the production together.
McCarthy did not disappoint, but what is a woman without her best gal-pal, Christine. A fantastic performance by the ever-talented Maya Rudolf made the film what it was. Her blunt-force trauma to anyone who dared to challenge her woman was electrifying.
The best scenes in the movie were championed by Christine. Truly the best character script-wise, Christine brought humor to harder moments of the film. Rudolf sold the character with her iconic facial expressions and commanding persona.
From her risque need for a spiced-up sex life to her consistent sipping of mini wine bottles, Christine was one of the true gems of the film. Her support for Deanna's sexual endeavors rounded out the relationship.
Speaking of the sexual endeavors — Jack, fraternity brother and lover of everything Deanna, had the crowd swooning with every glance. Luke Benward has grown up from his days on "How To Eat Fried Worms." His fascination with Deanna is convincing, riveting and down-right adorable.
Benward and McCarthy had a fiery dynamic on screen. Their banter about wine and their many conversations on whether the relationship should come to a screeching halt kept the crowd on their toes.
McCarthy brought the sex back to the menopausal woman with jokes about her VaGoogle, her all-knowing vagina, and her ability to rock any frat boy's socks off.
The most predictable characters in the film were the bad girls. Jennifer, played by Debby Ryan, and Trina, played by Yani Simon, were everything you expected from girls who didn't leave their bad attitudes in high school. Although the parts were well-performed, the overall dialogue featuring the mean girls lacked luster. On the other hand, the fight scene between Helen, played by Gillian Jacobs, and Jennifer had excellent sound, fantastic use of staging and a convincing conclusion.
The sorority sisters performed overarchingly well and covered the basic personalities one would find in a friend group. Star performances from Jacobs and Jessie Ennis, who played Debbie, elicited the depth of character needed.
"Life of the Party" gave a shameless insight into the life of a 40-something college woman. From references to her "mom boobs" to her request for Chardonnay at a frat party, McCarthy sold the role and put on a performance to be remembered. The film will have daughters missing their mothers and mothers thinking about what fun can happen in the dorms.
"Life of the Party" was worth all of the noise, and it's worth the money for those who want to laugh. The only true disappointment at the premiere was the lack of Chardonnay at the after party.