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Parents' Guide to

Life of the Party

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Talented cast can't save rowdy comedy; lots of drinking.

Movie PG-13 2018 105 minutes
Life of the Party Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 13+
Its a wonderful movie, its so funny but your kids have to know (THE TALK) in order to watch it its one of the best films ever.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
age 14+

Good but not sutibal for kids

A lot of sex and sex references during the movie it would be only suitable depending on how mature your child is or if they would take notice or not

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (11 ):

McCarthy is an undeniably talented comedian, but this formulaic college comedy collaboration with her writer-director husband Ben Falcone falls short of her potential. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, mostly courtesy of McCarthy's chemistry with on-screen best friend Christine (Maya Rudolph). Their scenes together are natural and funny, the two actresses appearing to ad-lib. Saturday Night Live cast member Heidi Gardner is also amusing as Deanna's intimidating roommate. But there's a lot that either falls flat or comes off as a copycat of so many other movies. For example, the age of Gillian Jacobs' character, Helen, is explained away as the result of an eight-year-long coma. The resulting "coma girl" jokes are neither funny nor necessary when there are plenty of older college students who haven't experienced severe brain injuries.

Viewers of a certain age will remember the classic Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School, a pivotal '80s comedy about a rags-to-riches millionaire who returns to college to bond with his son. Perhaps it's a sign of age and nostalgia, but Life of the Party is far less funny or memorable than that comedy. For one, the only class we see Deanna attend is an archaeology class taught by her punny former classmate-turned-academic, played by Chris Parnell. And while Dangerfield's romance was with an age-appropriate professor (Sally Kellerman), here Deanna robs the cradle and sleeps (repeatedly) with a college-aged guy her daughter's age. It would've felt more true had the frat guy been a one-night stand and the true love interest be Parnell's character. As it is, it's sweet that McCarthy and Falcone enjoy working together, but they have yet to make a movie as good as their individual talents.

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