After Melissa McCarthy was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in 2019, I finally thought that Hollywood was ready to offer her some juicier roles. I know that she loves a comedy but, as we’ve seen, they don’t always work out well. Can You Ever Forgive Me? forced people to see just how talented a performer she is beyond slapstick. I get excited every time she appears in a new film but, for the most part, I end up disappointed. That doesn’t stop me hoping and I will give pretty much everything a try if she’s in the cast list. The fact that her latest film also stars Chris O’Dowd was just an added benefit. He’s another great actor who hasn’t been given the kind of meaty role that he deserves. Maybe this time would work out for both of them?
It feels as if Melissa McCarthy and I have been here too many times before. Me wanting to believe that her latest film would be the one to give her the role she deserved. And, coming off the back of her amazing performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? I was confident that she was on her way up. The Kitchen seemed like a great fit. Based on a Vertigo comic book miniseries about housewives taking their husbands’ place in the Irish mob. It’s an adaptation written and directed by Andrea Berloff and starring Elisabeth Moss and Tiffany Haddish. This was a film that was making so many promises about celebrating women that I had to believe that it would be perfect. But could it ever live up to our expectations?
What? A review? On a Sunday? No, you aren’t going mad. I’ve decided that, in order to get all my pre-Oscar reviews up before the big day, that I’m going to have to change my schedule for a bit. I started writing this yesterday but ended up feeling so bad that I went to bed early. But that’s not important because, at this point in my life, I have watched all of the Best Picture nominees. The only ones I want to try to watch before the ceremony, if I have the time, are The Wife and At Eternity’s Gate. But, if I don’t then I won’t do feel bad. I managed to watch the films I wanted to and well on time. Unlike last year when I was watching them up to the last-minute pretty much. I think I saw my final one the day before the ceremony. In fairness, there were 9 nominees last year. That’s a whole extra film to find the time for. It was tough! But I digress… So, I’ve seen all the nominees but I still need to review 3 of them. And, let’s not forget, the actual ceremony is on February 24th which is just over a week away. If I’m going to have the reviews up in time then I need to hurry the fuck up. Meaning the fact that I’m starting my extra reviews with a non-Best Picture film is kind of absurd… but I watched this before the other two. And I’m not really looking forward to having to write the final 2. To say I have mixed feelings about them is an under-statement.
Never mix business and pleasure. That’s what we’re always told and it’s something that Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone should really have paid more attention to. This year’s The Life of the Party is their third time of collaborating on a film. The first, Tammy, was such a dire experience for me that I, apparently, didn’t even bother to review it. Something I did, at least, manage for their second film The Boss. But it’s fair to say that neither of these films were a great example of who McCarthy is as a performer. I don’t really understand how it could have gone so wrong either. She and her husband co-wrote both films but, for some reason, decided to write them with a lack of genuinely funny jokes. Instead, they both rely on the physical comedy that McCarthy is regularly forced to rely on to get a laugh. I’ve been a fan of hers since I first saw Gilmore Girls and agree that she was the best thing about Bridesmaids. So it’s been difficult to constantly be faced with an endless stream of disappointing or downright terrible films. Admittedly, some of her other collaborations with Paul Fieg have been more successful but they still feel like they’re lacking something. I go into every new films hoping this is the time she finds what’s missing. Watching the first trailer for The Life of the Party I was pretty sure this wouldn’t have it but I’m nothing if not open-minded at this point.