Big respect to Melissa McCarthy and her husband/director/co-writer Ben Falcone for crafting a story that gives a lot of funny women a chance to show off their comedic chops, although it would be nice if it added up to more than a bunch of jokes. McCarthy plays Deanna, a middle-aged mom who is dumped by her husband (Matt Walsh), then decides to go back for her degree to the same college where her daughter (Molly Gordon) is a senior. The gags are mostly built around sweet-natured Deanna in girls-gone-wild scenarios, blessedly without making her a shrill nightmare who just needs to learn how to loosen up. But the real pleasure is the opportunities given to McCarthy’s co-stars: Maya Rudolph as her BFF; SNL’s Heidi Gardner as her creepy roommate; Gillian Jacobs as a loopy student who spent eight years in a coma. Most of the set-ups are exactly what you suspect they might be, and McCarthy’s big physical-comedy set piece is built around a lack of confidence in Deanna that’s not evident anywhere else. Maybe it’s just a collection of appealing comic performances, but I suppose there are worse ways to spend 105 minutes.
Director: Ben Falcone
Producer: Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy and David Siegel
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, Molly Gordon, Stephen Root, Jacki Weaver, Adria Arjona, Luke Benward, Jessie Ennis, Heidi Gardner, Chris Parnell, Debby Ryan, Yani Simone and Jimmy Yang