Melissa McCarthy is a single mom returning to college to finally get her degree in the first trailer for Life of the Party. The upcoming film is the latest McCarthy joint to be co-written and directed by her husband Ben Falcone. The two previously worked together in a similar capacity on Tammy and The Boss, both of which brought back solid returns at the box office. Their latest film looks to be in keeping with the pair’s previous efforts, with another promising vehicle for McCarthy’s brand of improv and physical comedy.
Life of the Party sees McCarthy as Deanna, a woman looking to rebound from the apparently unexpected end of her marriage by returning to college to get the degree she never quite finished before starting a family. The only catch, and from the look of things in the trailer, the source of most of the comedy, is that Deanna’s headed to the same university attended by her daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon). As the trailer also promises, there’ll be hijinks aplenty, involving Maddie’s sorority sisters, played by Community’s Gillian Jacobs, Adria Arjona (True Detective), and Jessie Ennis (The House).
Deanna’s return to college presents McCarthy with plenty of opportunities to embarrass her daughter, but as the trailer demonstrates, that’s not really the goal of the movie — at least not the entire film. It doesn’t take long for Maddie to take her mother under her wing and get her acclimated to campus life in 2018. That includes a familiar makeover moment that involves an objectionable hairbrush instead of taking off a pair of glasses and pulling out a ponytail. The result, apparently, is that Deanna becomes something of a hit on campus, with her daughter’s sorority sisters, and with one guy in the university’s library, much to the delight of Maya Rudolph’s character.
Life of the Party seems to be sticking fairly close to the same formula McCarthy and Falcone used in their previous ventures together. Given that both films were solid hits that earned more than double their production budgets at the domestic box office, it stands to reason this film will perform similarly. That’s especially true since its early summer premiere date could position it as solid counter programming nestled in between the likes of Avengers: Infinity War and the Deadpool sequel.
McCarthy has been busy as of late. In addition to her spot-on but sadly short-lived role as Sean Spicer on SNL, she’s setting up plenty of new projects, including Margie Claus with Falcone, as well as the puppet-driven mystery-comedy Happytime Murders. The latter project sounds like an intriguingly silly departure for the comedian, and should make for a solid one-two punch for her in theaters.
Life of the Party hits theaters May 11, 2018.