Melissa McCarthy us is our queen of comedy. The Boss won’t knock her off her thrown, no, what with her ample opportunities to use that wise timing, the familiar voice patterns, those physical pranks … Well, unless you’ve turned the channel on her long-running TV show Mike and Molly and subsequent rise on the big screen with Bridesmaids and more, you know her style.
McCarthy also co-wrote this latest comedy, with her husband Ben Falcone — who also directed — and actor Steve Mallory. And there’s the rub.
The story, well, let’s call it royally dubious.
McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, an orphan who grows up to become the 47th-richest woman in America because of her shark-like business skills and self-absorbed ways. But an arrest for insider-trading lands her in prison, and after five months inside, she’s released broke and homeless. A semi-sympathetic former assistant, played by the likeable Kristen Bell, is talked into taking the irascible Michelle into their small apartment by her doe-eyed daughter (also enjoyable Ella Anderson).
Ma Claire has taken on a job to pay the bills, so she entrusts Michelle to watch young Rachel, and to get the sad former rich boss off the couch, too.
So far, so good.
That leads to the bulb going on at a cookie-selling meeting at a girls-organization meeting.
And here’s where it unravels, unfortunately, into too much.
Ample foul language. Sexual talk in front of the kids. A fight scene between competing groups, led by Michelle and her adult rival and spread to the youngsters. Silly sword play between Michelle and her former paramour in front of Rachel.
There’s a sweet lesson of redemption wrapped inside as Michelle does her dastardly thing but then learns a new thing or two.
The film is rated R, but even at a 10:05 Friday night show in the Regal Cinemas’ big RPX Theater in Syracuse mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA, some parents brought kids that were obviously not yet teens.
Such is the draw of McCarthy, and why so much of this stuff is just not right. If she’s writing her own material, she’s got to know her audience better than this.
Who is your favorite comic actress of today, and why? Do you appreciate the work of Melissa McCarthy, and why? What’s your favorite Melissa McCarthy movie, and why?