Life of the Party

Life of the Party

2018, PG, 105 min. Directed by Ben Falcone. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Molly Gordon, Debby Ryan, Jacki Weaver, Matt Walsh, Stephen Root, Adria Arjona, Jessie Ennis, Jimmy O. Yang, Luke Benward.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Fri., May 11, 2018

Humor is subjective. This point was rammed home to me as I sat in agonized silence, fingers sporadically jammed into my eyes, while audience members laughed at the latest shockingly boring Melissa McCarthy/Ben Falcone cringe machine.

At this point, the McCarthy/Falcone equation is clear. McCarthy plays it broad, there's some vague female empowerment subplot counterbalancing her butterfly-like transformation, and there will be some pratfalls. As in Tammy, yeah unto The Boss, and now to low-grade college comedy Life of the Party.

McCarthy's latest awful/adorable persona is Deanna, a clingy, gabby mom in the throes of a divorce, who decides to reclaim her lost youth by finishing her archaeology degree at the same college as her daughter Maddie (Gordon, aka Our Cartoon President's Sarah Huckabee Sanders). See, it's hilarious, because fish out of water, right!

Deanna is so irksome that even McCarthy seems to tire of her, and her bumbling, burbling, shy but gregarious persona is often discarded – not as a sign of character development, but because it would get in the way of a gag. The idea that this bedazzled stereotype would, after a couple of drinks and a late-night hookup with a senior (Benward), suddenly turn into Rodney Dangerfield on a late-night show in the Catskills isn't just absurd: It's lazy writing. It's a sign that McCarthy and Falcone don't care about their story or characters, which would be OK if this wasn't so brake-screechingly devoid of decent laughs. And, no, a wine-sozzled Maya Rudolph taking a racquetball to (as Deanna dubs it) the vaGoogle is not a decent laugh. It's a Farrelly brothers reject.

Talking of Dangerfield, he don't get no respect here. At least the recent gender-swapped rehash of Overboard announced it was a remake: Falcone and McCarthy just raid the bones of Back to School, with none of its sleazy, galling, badly aged charm. This is PG-13 pablum, desperate to scrape in Mother's Day dollars and college-kid cash at the same time. It's so woefully out of touch that the last act revolves around seniors in Atlanta in 2018 going to a party because Christina Aguilera might be there.

Life of the Party has two, maybe three moderately enjoyable components. First, Jacobs and Ennis, both playing a form of mild bafflement/low-grade concussion for something approaching, but not even grazing, laughs. Second, the architecture at Agnes Scott College, which previously served as a backdrop for Scream 2. If you're going to watch a film for good views of the campus, watch that. Hell, I'd rather be chased by Ghostface across the quad than endure McCarthy going through the motions one more time.

Showtimes

Wed., May 23

11:05am, 1:50, 5:05, 8:10, 11:05

Thu., May 24

10:20am, 1:15, 4:00

Fri., May 25

9:20am, 6:25, 9:50

Sat., May 26

10:10am, 5:20, 8:10, 11:40

Sun., May 27

11:10am, 1:55, 7:50, 11:20

Mon., May 28

9:55am, 1:55, 5:20, 8:10, 11:40

Tue., May 29

8:15, 11:05
AFA 9:55am, 1:55

Wed., May 23

11:10am, 1:55, 4:45, 7:45, 10:30

Thu., May 24

12:55, 3:45

Fri., May 25

9:00am

Sat., May 26

10:00

Sun., May 27

10:45

Mon., May 28

11:20

Tue., May 29

11:20

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., May 23

11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:15, 11:00

Thu., May 24

11:40am, 3:30, 6:35

Fri., May 25

10:15am, 1:15, 4:10, 7:05

Sat., May 26

12:10, 7:10, 9:55

Sun., May 27

9:40am, 12:45, 3:35, 6:35, 9:35

Mon., May 28

10:20am, 1:05, 4:00, 6:45, 9:40

Tue., May 29

4:00, 6:45, 9:40
AFA 1:05

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 11:40am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 11:40am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50

Fri., May 25

CC/DVS 9:10am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:40

Sat., May 26

CC/DVS 9:10am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:40

Sun., May 27

CC/DVS 9:10am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:40

Mon., May 28

CC/DVS 9:10am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:40

Tue., May 29

CC/DVS 9:10am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., May 23

digital 11:05am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05
digital, luxury lounger 11:05am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05

Fri., May 25

digital 11:10am, 1:55, 4:35

Sat., May 26

digital 11:10am, 1:55, 4:35

Sun., May 27

digital 11:10am, 1:55, 4:35, 10:45

Mon., May 28

digital 11:10am, 1:55, 4:35, 10:10

Tue., May 29

digital 11:10am, 1:55, 4:35, 10:10

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., May 23

digital 12:40, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20
digital, luxury lounger 12:40, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20

Thu., May 24

digital 12:40, 3:30

Fri., May 25

digital 9:40am, 12:10, 7:40, 10:30

Sat., May 26

digital 9:40am, 7:40, 10:30

Sun., May 27

digital 9:40am, 7:40, 10:30

Mon., May 28

digital 9:40am, 7:40, 10:30

Tue., May 29

digital 11:00am, 1:40, 4:30, 7:30, 10:10

Wed., May 23

digital 11:10am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:25, 10:15
digital, luxury lounger 11:10am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:25, 10:15

Fri., May 25

digital 11:05am, 1:55, 4:40

Sat., May 26

digital 11:05am, 1:55, 4:40

Sun., May 27

digital 11:05am, 1:55, 4:40, 10:45

Mon., May 28

digital 11:05am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:25, 10:10

Tue., May 29

digital 11:05am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:25, 10:10

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., May 23

digital 11:10am, 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 11:10am, 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:30

Thu., May 24

digital 11:10am, 2:00

Fri., May 25

digital 1:00, 7:35, 10:20

Sat., May 26

digital 1:00, 7:35, 10:20

Sun., May 27

digital 10:00am, 1:00, 7:35, 10:20

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

digital 12:25, 2:55, 5:25, 8:00, 10:35
digital, luxury lounger 12:25, 2:55, 5:25, 8:00, 10:35

Fri., May 25

digital 5:00, 10:05

Sat., May 26

digital 12:00, 10:05

Sun., May 27

digital 12:00, 10:05

Mon., May 28

digital 12:00, 10:05

Tue., May 29

digital 12:00, 5:00, 10:05

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Wed., May 23

digital 12:50, 4:00, 6:35, 9:20

Fri., May 25

digital 1:30

Sat., May 26

digital 1:30

Sun., May 27

digital 1:30

Mon., May 28

digital 1:30

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., May 23

1:50, 4:45, 7:40, 10:20

Thu., May 24

1:50, 4:55, 7:40, 10:20

Fri., May 25

10:10am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:40, 10:20

Sat., May 26

10:10am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:40, 10:20

Sun., May 27

1:50, 4:45, 7:40, 10:20

Mon., May 28

1:50, 4:45, 7:40, 10:20

Tue., May 29

1:50, 4:45, 7:40, 10:20

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., May 23

11:30am, 2:10, 4:35, 10:00

Thu., May 24

11:30am, 2:10, 4:35, 7:15

Fri., May 25

11:30am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:15, 10:00

Sat., May 26

11:30am, 2:10, 8:15, 10:50

Sun., May 27

11:30am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:15, 10:00

Mon., May 28

11:30am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:15, 10:00

Tue., May 29

11:30am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:15, 10:00

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Wed., May 23

CC 12:15, 3:25, 6:30, 10:30

Thu., May 24

CC 10:45am, 12:15, 3:15

Fri., May 25

CC 1:00, 4:15, 6:30, 10:15

Sat., May 26

CC 12:20, 3:20, 7:10

Sun., May 27

CC 12:20, 3:20, 7:10

Mon., May 28

CC 12:20, 3:20, 7:10

Tue., May 29

CC 12:20, 3:20, 7:10

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., May 23

ClosedCapDescListenHI 12:35, 3:35, 6:45, 9:20

Thu., May 24

ClosedCapDescListenHI 12:35, 3:35, 6:45, 9:20

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:50, 10:35

Fri., May 25

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:15, 7:50, 10:35

Sat., May 26

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:15, 7:50, 10:35

Sun., May 27

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:15, 7:50, 10:35

Mon., May 28

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:15, 7:50, 10:35

Tue., May 29

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:35, 5:15, 7:50, 10:35

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Wed., May 23

11:35am, 2:20, 4:45, 7:10

Thu., May 24

11:35am, 2:20, 4:45, 7:10, 9:30

Fri., May 25

11:50am, 2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 9:30

Sat., May 26

11:50am, 2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 9:30

Sun., May 27

11:50am, 2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 9:30

Mon., May 28

11:50am, 2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 9:30

Tue., May 29

11:50am, 2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 9:30

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Wed., May 23

11:30am, 3:00, 6:15, 9:15

Thu., May 24

11:30am, 2:30, 5:30

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 8:00, 10:45

Thu., May 24

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 8:00, 10:45

Fri., May 25

CC/DVS 3:40, 7:20

Sat., May 26

CC/DVS 3:40, 7:20

Sun., May 27

CC/DVS 3:40, 7:20

Mon., May 28

CC/DVS 3:40, 7:20

Tue., May 29

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/austin/

Wed., May 23

10:45am, 4:40, 7:30, 10:30

Thu., May 24

10:45am, 4:40

Fri., May 25

9:30am, 3:45, 7:45, 10:45

Sat., May 26

9:30am, 3:45, 7:45, 10:45

Sun., May 27

9:30am, 3:45, 7:45, 10:45

Mon., May 28

9:30am, 3:45, 7:45, 10:45

Tue., May 29

3:45, 7:45, 10:45

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Wed., May 23

10:45am, 1:45, 4:50, 7:30, 10:00

Thu., May 24

10:45am, 1:45, 4:50, 7:30, 10:00

Fri., May 25

10:45am, 1:45, 4:50, 7:30, 10:00

Sat., May 26

10:45am, 1:45, 4:50, 7:30, 10:00

Sun., May 27

10:45am, 1:45, 4:50, 7:30, 10:00

Mon., May 28

10:45am, 1:45, 4:50, 7:30, 10:00

Tue., May 29

10:45am, 1:45, 4:50, 7:30, 10:00

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Wed., May 23

2:10, 4:50, 7:20

Thu., May 24

2:10, 4:50

Fri., May 25

9:00

Sat., May 26

9:00

Sun., May 27

9:40

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Wed., May 23

1:00, 3:40, 6:20, 9:00

Thu., May 24

1:00, 3:40, 6:20, 9:00

Fri., May 25

10:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 7:35, 10:10

Sat., May 26

10:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 7:00, 9:15

Sun., May 27

10:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 7:00, 9:15

Mon., May 28

10:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 7:00, 9:15

Tue., May 29

1:15, 3:55, 7:00, 9:10

Wed., May 23

11:30am, 2:10, 4:40, 8:00, 10:35

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., May 23

11:35am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10

Thu., May 24

11:35am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10

Fri., May 25

2:20, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10

Sat., May 26

11:35am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10

Sun., May 27

11:35am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10

Mon., May 28

11:35am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10

Tue., May 29

11:35am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Thu., May 24

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:45, 10:25

Fri., May 25

CC/DVS 10:00am, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Sat., May 26

CC/DVS 10:00am, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Sun., May 27

CC/DVS 10:00am, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Mon., May 28

CC/DVS 10:00am, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Tue., May 29

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:30, 4:45, 7:15, 10:30

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Life of the Party, Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Molly Gordon, Debby Ryan, Jacki Weaver, Matt Walsh, Stephen Root, Adria Arjona, Jessie Ennis, Jimmy O. Yang, Luke Benward

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