Reviewed by: Maggie Hays
Starting over in life
What does it mean to be LASCIVIOUS? Answer
divorce and God’s Word
Melissa McCarthy … Deanna Miles—Dan’s wife, Maddie’s mother and Sandy’s daughter
Maya Rudolph … Christine—Deanna’s neurotic best friend
Molly Gordon … Maddie Miles—Dan and Deanna’s daughter and Sandy’s granddaughter
Jacki Weaver … Sandy—Deanna’s mother and Maddie’s grandmother
Matt Walsh … Dan Miles—Deanna’s husband, Maddie’s father and Sandy’s son-in-law
Gillian Jacobs … Helen—a sorority sister
Debby Ryan … Jennifer
Julie Bowen … Deanna’s enemy
Adria Arjona … Amanda
Stephen Root … Mike
Chris Parnell …
Jessie Ennis …
Christina Aguilera … Christina Aguilera
Luke Benward … Jack
Jimmy O. Yang … Tyler—Maddie's boyfriend
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|Director||Ben Falcone—“The Boss” (2016), “Tammy” (2014)|
New Line Cinema
On the Day
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New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures
“Life of the Party” was written by its star, Melissa McCarthy, and her real-life husband Ben Falcone. This movie is funny, and Melissa McCarthy is undeniably a gifted comedienne. Sometimes I was laughing so much that I missed some of the subsequent dialog.
McCarthy plays Deanna, a loving homemaker in a marriage of 23 years, who returns to college after her husband suddenly confesses his adulterous relationship and asks for a divorce. Deanna’s daughter, Maddie, is embarrassed when her mom becomes part of her college class, school environment, and circle of friends. However, Deanna has a winning way with people and is soon accepted by Maddie and all of her friends.
The film has some positive elements as Deanna summons the courage to go back to college for her degree. Her relationship with her daughter is close and loving. Deanna is soon accepted and loved by the Sorority sisters because she encourages them and helps them solve their anxiety issues.
This story had so much entertaining family-friendly potential, but is ruined by crude dialog and sexual situations.
OBJECTIONABLE LANGUAGE—Enough to ruin the film. God’s Name is disrespected at least 20 times in various ways: “Oh my G*d”, “Oh G*d no.” Deanna’s daughter, Maddie, seems to know only one phrase for every situation—“Oh my G*d!” I thought to myself, “Doesn’t she have any other dialog?” (of course she does, but that phrase is repeated so often it was getting on my nerves). “A*s” is mentioned 5 times, “b*tch” 10 times, and “sh*t” 5 times. There are many crass uses of words such as “vagina,” “crotch,” “boobs,” ”C-section scar,” “bra cup size,” “genitals,” and “hell.” Sex is mentioned by name 7 times in a locker-room way.
VIOLENT CONTENT—I don’t like to see women fist-fighting in a movie, and this scene was not enjoyable at all. There is also a scene where Deanna and her friends—all high on marijuana—trash her husband’s wedding reception, ruining everything, including the cake. I would not want my kids to view this childish act of revenge.
DISTURBING IMAGES—In anger Deanna gathers up her husband’s belongings and mementos of their wedding and sets fire to them in the backyard. Legal? I doubt it. Safe? Definitely not.
NUDITY—There is no outright nudity, but there are several scenes of college girls wearing very low-cut tops, and skin-tight sweaters that leave little to the imagination. A married couple is seen naked from the shoulders up, implying that they are also naked the rest of the way down.
ALCOHOL/DRUG USE—There is a wild fraternity house party in which liquor flows freely. Several drunken men are seen staggering around. There are also two other scenes of Deanna drinking. Deanna and her friends mistakenly consume a lot of medical marijuana and get high and become destructive to property.
SEX—Sex is not graphically shown, but is implied in several scenes. Deanna has a fling with a guy half her age, and they are sexual in the college library and discuss their relationship. Several times a married couple looks for public places to have sex because it excites the wife.
MORALITY ISSUES—Deanna has a sexual relationship with a fraternity guy, and they meet often for physical encounters. No commitment is ever discussed. One scene that especially disturbed me was when there is a wild party at a frat house. Deanna is coming out of a room the next morning, having spent the night with a young guy. She runs into her daughter who did the same thing and is coming out of another guy’s room. This situation is treated very matter-of-factly, as though nothing is wrong with casual fornication, and then as they stroll across campus they have a very worldly discussion of sex—almost as if it was a pastime hobby. After casual sex in the library with a young guy, Deanna calls her best friend to brag about it, and the situation is celebrated by the cheering friend. These promote a very bad message.
OCCULT—There is no occult activity. It is implied that Deanna’s college roommate may be a witch, as Deanna refers to her “coven.” The girl is drawn to the dark, is odd and creepy, but Deanna wins her over as a real friend.
As I have stated, this movie had good potential. Melissa McCarthy has an “I Love Lucy” kind of air about her at time, and she plays comedy well, both physically and in dialog. However, the casual treatment of intercourse in this film, and the steady stream of crude language really brings down the family-friendly potential of this product.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.