year: 2018
rating: **1/2

There are way too many remakes, especially of Eighties flicks, so Melissa McCarthy and actor/director husband Ben Falcone remade the Rodney Dangerfield classic Back To School and took all the credit — despite having the same basic premise: after a divorce, a parent decides to go to college with her kid. In that case it was a large funny dad and skinny serious son and here it's a fat (though skinny for her) almost-funny woman with a standard-size semi-cute daughter. But Melissa McCarthy trades in her usual blunt and gross self deprecation for a character much too optimistic and cheerful to relate to, or to feel for, providing absolutely no obstacles along the way. A much too easy/breezy comedy with no real laughs. On the plus side, it's a relaxing time-filler delivering 90-minutes of brainless entertainment. That's also what's wrong with LIFE OF THE PARTY, which does live up to its name, several times; party after party; sameness. More a divorced middle-aged mother's fantasy since McCarthy — taking one more year of Anthropology in the same college she dropped out of years earlier — hooks up with a handsome college kid. The only suspense is in the utter disbelief.

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