The rapport between Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy offers deeper pleasures than the main plot of the film.
Life of the Party sets up an intergenerational, interfamilial odd-couple buddy-comedy scenario that it never makes the most of.
The incongruity between Melissa McCarthy’s eagerness as a performer and her character’s total lack of compassion makes The Boss somehow both restless and tedious.
The film is an almost plotless doodle, with low stakes made even lower thanks to the antiheroine’s bratty passivity.
The meager comeuppance and hasty notes of sweetness that end the film feel pre-approved rather than organically realized.
Enough can’t be said about how the late James Gandolfini comes so close to saving writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s latest articulation of white suburban anxieties.