Life of the Party (2018 film)
|Life of the Party|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ben Falcone|
|Music by||Fil Eisler|
|Edited by||Brian Olds|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$64.1 million|
Life of the Party is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Ben Falcone and written by Falcone and Melissa McCarthy. It is the third film directed by Falcone and co-written by the pair, following Tammy (2014) and The Boss (2016). The film, starring McCarthy, Molly Gordon, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, Debby Ryan, Adria Arjona, Jessie Ennis, with Stephen Root, and Jacki Weaver, follows a newly divorced mother who returns to college to complete her degree, and ends up bonding with her daughter's friends.
Produced by On the Day Productions and New Line Cinema, the film was released on May 11, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics, who called it "a frustratingly middling comedy that never really figures out what to do with all that talent and fails to produce consistent laughs."
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The movie starts with Deanna Miles (Melissa McCarthy) going with her husband Dan (Matt Walsh) to drop off their daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) to her senior year at Decatur University in Atlanta. After saying bye to Maddie, Deanna tells Dan how she's looking forward to their trip to Italy until Dan flat-out tells her he wants a divorce because he has fallen in love with another woman. To make things worse, he is selling their house since everything is under his name, meaning Deanna has to leave. Deanna angrily kicks his car and takes an Uber home.
Deanna goes to the home of her parents, Mike (Stephen Root) and Sandy (Jacki Weaver). They note that Dan was always a jerk for making Deanna drop out of her last year of college when she got pregnant, meaning she never graduated, as well as making her put up with his overbearing ways during their marriage. Mike threatens to use a gun on Dan but then almost accidentally shoots their dog.
Deanna goes to play Racquetball with her best friend Christine (Maya Rudolph). There, Deanna bemoans what's become of her life until she decides that she won't just sit around and let Dan ruin her life.
Deanna surprises Maddie in her dorm by announcing to her that she and Dan are divorcing and that she is now going to take a year at Decatur so that she can graduate and earn a degree in archaeology. Maddie is stunned by both bits of news and is left speechless.
Maddie introduces Deanna to her friends - Amanda (Adria Arjona), neurotic Debbie (Jessie Ennis), and Helen (Gillian Jacobs), who was in a coma for eight years and is now getting a chance to go to college. Deanna later meets her roommate Leonor (Heidi Gardner), who is agoraphobic and chronically depressed.
One of Deanna's first classes is an archaeology class with Helen, and her professor is a former classmate of hers named Wayne (Chris Parnell). There, Deanna also meets resident "mean girl" Jennifer (Debby Ryan) and her friend Trina (Yani Simone). They mock Deanna's mom sweater and for her laughing at Wayne's corny archaeology-related jokes.
Deanna later goes to sign the divorce papers with Christine while Dan shows up with his new fiancee Marcie (Julie Bowen). They exchange a lot of insults through the mediator.
Maddie takes Deanna to hang out with her and her friends. After being mocked by Jennifer again, Maddie gives her mom a makeover so that she can look more party-ready. Deanna meets Maddie's boyfriend Tyler (Jimmy O. Yang) and another boy named Jack (Luke Benward). After many shots and beers, Deanna and Maddie wake up the next morning mortified to see each other leaving a frat house doing the "walk of shame", which leads Maddie to realize Deanna slept with Jack.
Jack starts to constantly text Deanna since he has basically fallen in love with her. She tells him it was just a one-time thing, but they then go to the stacks in the library to have sex again.
Deanna tends to Debbie when she expresses a personal issue she is having, along with the other girls talking about their problems. Deanna encourages the girls to use their strengths to their advantage. They then go to an 80's themed party where Deanna has a dance-off with Jennifer that results in her winning and earning the respect of her schoolmates.
Deanna must do a presentation for her archaeology class, but she gets so nervous that she sweats profusely and finally ends up fainting.
Deanna goes out to dinner with Christine, her husband, and their couple friends (that they don't even like). To Deanna and Christine's dismay, Dan and Marcie show up to gloat about taking the trip to Italy. However, Deanna gets the last laugh when they see that not only is Jack their waiter, but he is also Marcie's son and Deanna gloats about sleeping with him to gross Marcie out.
On the night of Dan and Marcie's wedding, Deanna and her friends get high off chocolate bark laced with weed, and they head to the reception. Deanna is initially ready to make peace with Dan until they see posters outside that are basically saying Dan did better than Deanna by getting with Marcie. Deanna and the girls then start trashing the reception room. Dan, Marcie, and Maddie find them after they wreck the place, and Marcie tells Deanna she is cut off financially from Dan. Deanna is filled with shame, if only because of how Maddie saw her.
Deanna tries to make amends with Maddie, but she tells her that she is leaving college since she has no means of completing the rest of the year on her own. The girls then come up with a plan to throw a party to raise money to pay for Deanna's tuition.
The party turns out to be a flop since everyone is at a Christina Aguilera concert. Helen, who has three million Twitter followers, posts that Christina will be at the party after her show. This brings in almost the whole school, but they all start to ask when Christina will be there. Christine shows up with her husband, as do Mike and Sandy. Mike offers to give Deanna a check out of his 401K to pay off her tuition, but Deanna refuses to take it. Things get hectic when Jennifer and Helen get into a fight that is broken up after Jennifer accidentally punches Deanna in the breasts. Before the girls decide to issue refunds, they are surprised when Leonor shows up and reveals that Christina Aguilera is her cousin, and because of Deanna showing her kindness, she decided to help her out. Christina says she supports Deanna's cause, and she puts on a show with Deanna and the girls to an excited crowd.
Later on, Deanna is up to repeat her presentation in class. She is still nervous until Maddie, Helen, Amanda, Debbie, and all the sorority sisters show up to support her, and Deanna manages to give the presentation with ease.
At the end of the year, Deanna and Maddie graduate together, with all their friends and family there to support them. Maddie encourages Deanna to throw her cap in the air. She does so, and it hits Dan in the face, knocking out an earring he was wearing while Marcie berates him for losing the expensive diamond stud.
- Melissa McCarthy as Deanna "Dee Rock" Miles
- Molly Gordon as Maddie Miles, Dan and Deanna's daughter
- Gillian Jacobs as Helen, a sorority sister who is older than the rest due to having been in a coma for eight years.
- Maya Rudolph as Christine Davenport, Deanna's neurotic and heavy drinking best friend
- Matt Walsh as Daniel "Dan" Miles, Deanna's ex-husband, Maddie's father
- Julie Bowen as Marcie Strong, a real estate agent, Deanna's nemesis and Dan's lover
- Adria Arjona as Amanda, a sorority sister with "issues"
- Jessie Ennis as Debbie, another sorority sister with "issues"
- Debby Ryan as Jennifer, a "mean girl" in Deanna's archaeology class
- Jacki Weaver as Sandy, Deanna's mother and Maddie's grandmother
- Stephen Root as Mike, Deanna's father and Maddie's grandfather
- Luke Benward as Jack Strong, a frat boy infatuated with Deanna
- Jimmy O. Yang as Tyler, Maddie's boyfriend and Jack's friend
- Chris Parnell as Wayne Trurack, Deanna's professor
- Heidi Gardner as Leonor, Deanna's reclusive Goth roommate
- Yani Smone as Trina, Jennifer's snarky sidekick
- Damon Jones as Frank Davenport, Christine's husband
- Karen Maruyama as Mediator
- Steve Falcone (Ben Falcone's real-life father) as Older Man #1 / Vince
- Michael D. McCarthy (Melissa McCarthy's real-life father) as Older Man #2 / Dennis
Filming began in August 2016 in the metro Atlanta area. The sorority house used in the film is The Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast (www.thetwelveoaks.com) located in Covington, GA. The interior of the mansion was replicated in a warehouse in Decatur, GA for the interior scenes and the exterior scenes were filmed on location at the inn.
In the United States and Canada, Life of the Party was released alongside Breaking In, and was projected to gross $18–21 million from 3,656 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $4.9 million on its first day, including $700,000 from Thursday night previews, down from the $985,000 McCarthy's The Boss grossed in March 2016, and similar to the $650,000 grossed by Snatched on the Thursday before the same weekend the previous year. The film went on to debut to $17.9 million, the lowest solo-starring opening of McCarthy's career, and finished second behind Avengers: Infinity War ($62 million in its third week); 80% of its audience was over the age of 25, while 70% was female. It fell 57% in its second weekend, to $7.6 million, finishing fourth at the box office, and another 33% to $5.1 million in its third, finishing fifth.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 38% based on 122 reviews, and an average rating of 5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Life of the Party's good-natured humor and abundance of onscreen talent aren't enough to make up for jumbled direction and a script that misses far more often than it hits." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on reviews from 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, higher than the "C+" earned by each of McCarthy and Falcone's previous two film collaborations.
Matt Zoller-Seitz of RogerEbert.com gave the film two out of four stars, calling it "the latest Melissa McCarthy star vehicle that fails to do justice to the sheer awesomeness of its leading lady."
Leigh Monson from Birth.MoviesDeath wrote the next: "One hundred minutes of self-indulgence and tedium, even if it's well-meaning in its intentions." 
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie||Pending|
|Choice Summer Movie Actress||Melissa McCarthy||Pending|
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