Melissa McCarthy Re-Teams With ‘The Boss’ Director Ben Falcone for ‘Life of the Party’
Oh, good. For those who are fans of Melissa McCarthy but remain unimpressed by her movie collaborations with husband and director Ben Falcone (me), you may want to turn away now because this news is not going to thrill you (me). Following the success of Tammy and The Boss, McCarthy and Falcone are teaming up for another comedy film, this one in the vein of Rodney Dangerfield’s classic Back to School.
With The Boss poised to top Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the box office this weekend (okay, now I’m just starting to feel bad for Zack Snyder), THR reports that McCarthy and husband / director Ben Falcone are developing another comedy film together. Like Tammy and The Boss, Life of the Party is based on a script the duo co-wrote and will once again produce.
Plot specifics have yet to be revealed, but the project is described as similar to Back to School, in which Dangerfield played an obnoxious, party-loving businessman who enrolls in college to help out his son, a struggling student. The usual wacky shenanigans ensue. But the discouraging part of this report is that Life of the Party was “pitched as a broad comedy playing on McCarthy’s strengths” — but “broad” was exactly the problem with both Tammy and The Boss, which seem to have fallen victim to some studio mandate that they play to as wide an audience as possible, ultimately delivering comedy that feels too generic and sloppy.
While Tammy has more heart than The Boss, the latter is arguably more comedic than the former, but neither of these films have any real comedic or narrative focus — much less coherence. Broad is bad. Specific is good, especially in comedy, and what makes McCarthy’s roles so great in Paul Feig’s films is that her characters are specific and genuine.
Still, Tammy made over $100 million worldwide on a $19 million budget, and The Boss is expected to do similar business, so of course McCarthy and Falcone are making another movie together. Maybe this time they can make one that’s actually good.