Good news: There’s a new Melissa McCarthy vehicle! The Spy and The Heat star went all of 2017 without starring in a movie, after cranking out one or two a year pretty steadily since her breakthrough role in Bridesmaids back in 2011, but she has a new one, titled Life of the Party, out for Mother’s Day. Hurray!
Bad news: It’s another collaboration with director/co-writer (and husband) Ben Falcone, an utterly charming comic actor (he plays her romantic interest in the aforementioned Bridesmaids) whose shortcomings as a filmmaker have, perhaps understandably, eluded his star. They first teamed on the bland 2014 comedy Tammy; two years later, they gave us The Boss. It’s puzzling, because it would seem Mr. Falcone would know better than anyone what makes Melissa McCarthy funny, and he keeps helming her un-funniest movies.
Anyway, Life of the Party has a pretty irresistible concept: it’s basically a gender-swapped Back to School, with McCarthy in the Rodney Dangerfield role. (And the notion of McCarthy = female Rodney totally makes sense, the more you think about it.) And the supporting cast includes Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Jacki Weaver, Chris Parnell, Matt Walsh, Sarah Baker, Stephen Root, and Christina Aguilera as herself. How could that be bad? Sadly, Falcone may find a way.
At any rate, here’s your first trailer:
Can they get this one right? Find out when Life of the Party hits theaters May 11!