Life of the Party (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Life of the Party (2018)



Critic Consensus: Life of the Party's good-natured humor and abundance of onscreen talent aren't enough to make up for jumbled direction and a script that misses far more often than it hits.

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When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (McCarthy) turns regret into re-set by going back to college...landing in the same class and school as her daughter, who's not entirely sold on the idea. Plunging headlong into the campus experience, the increasingly outspoken Deanna-now Dee Rock-embraces freedom, fun and frat boys on her own terms, finding her true self in a senior year no one ever expected.

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Maya Rudolph
as Christine
Debby Ryan
as Jennifer
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Critic Reviews for Life of the Party

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (33)

The pat drama and the mild conflicts of "Life of the Party" leave McCarthy with little chance to shine, despite her near-constant presence onscreen.

May 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Life of the Party doesn't live up to either of the nouns in its title.

May 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Melissa McCarthy is comedy royalty - it's a scientific fact, look it up - but even the Bridesmaids star can't keep this mom-goes-to-college fluffball from flatlining.

May 12, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Falcone and McCarthy seem so concerned with delivering on their audience's pratfall assumptions that they never allow McCarthy to expand her capabilities in any meaningful way.

May 11, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Life of the Party is proof that even the funniest actors need good material, which makes it all the more disappointing that McCarthy wrote the script with director Ben Falcone, who is also her husband.

May 11, 2018 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Life of the Party is harmless good fun. And sometimes that's enough.

May 11, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Life of the Party


Best pairing of McCarthy and husband Falcone in a sweet- natured funny comedy that highlights her talents. One plot mechanism almost knocks it off track but it recovers for a sensible ending. A enjoyable film just to entertain! 05-13-2018

Christopher Oakley
Christopher Oakley

Super Reviewer


Just in time for Mother's Day weekend comes two eminently bland, safe, and unmemorable movies that generally waste their female stars. Melissa McCarthy has proven herself one of the most funny and dynamic performers in comedy, but Life of the Party is a listless and groan-inducing back-to-school comedy that feels tonally off, adopting the persona of its tacky, talky, and awkward middle-aged mother. You would think the premise would lead to plenty of R-rated shenanigans, but instead the film adopts a very sedate PG-13 atmosphere, dulling the wild collegiate experience into something so predictable and safe as to be completely inoffensive. It feels like a caricature reminiscent of a feature-length rendition of a Saved by the Bell: The College Years. McCarthy falls back on tired, corny jokes that don't attempt to be anything else, and the supporting cast is left to gasp and grasp for anything to spark laughs (special credit Gillian Jacobs for doing everything possible as "coma girl"). McCarthy is best when given room to improvise and discover interesting odd angles for jokes, but she also needs a stronger comedic vision, and that's not going to come from husband/co-writer/director Ben Falcone (Tammy). It feels like they had a general outline for a comedy and, in grand collegiate tradition, pulled an all-nighter and sloppily finished a serviceable draft. I chuckled about four times, mostly involving an exuberant Maya Rudolph and the one clever structural payoff revolving around a much younger fraternal hookup. Mostly, Life of the Party lacks a sense of stakes, credibility, surprises, development, and laughs, though the middle-aged mothers in my preview screening lapped it up, so take my opinion with a grain of salt if the trailer seemed moderately appealing for you. Nate's Grade: C-

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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