Life of the Party (2018)

  • Gist: Comedy about a middle aged woman, suddenly dumped by her husband, returning to complete her senior year at the same college her daughter is also a senior.
  • Is it good?: Mostly it’s silly, on purpose, but some quality themes underscore the lighthearted romp, like mentoring, acceptance, and through-barrier friendships.
  • Is it funny?: Comedy talent so rich it feels underutilized; laughs build slowly but steadily, no great scenes but several good ones, script more warmth than fire.
  • I love: Gillian Jacobs. Many actors live off lovely eyes, but how many live off lovely eyes that read either deranged or imbecilic all the time?
  • I love, love: Heidi Gardner. I’m not ashamed.
  • I love, love, love: Maya Rudolph, who brandishes the matchstick of a script like a flamethrower.
  • Julianna Jones: See that girl dancing behind McCarthy at the party? You mat not know her name yet, but you will soon!!
  • Sexism: Every male is a flat, stereotyped cardboard cutout. That’s fair.
  • Gen X: Sisters and Brothers in Time, we don’t have to fill in the X with a monument to ourselves. Loving the next generation is monument enough.

Conclusion: Enjoy it for what it is, laugh at it with friends, feel a little better for a little while.