Life of the Party

Life of the Party Information

Life of the Party is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Ben Falcone and written by Falcone and Melissa McCarthy. It is the third film directed by Falcone and co-written by the pair, following Tammy (2014) and The Boss (2016). The film, starring McCarthy, Molly Gordon, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, Debby Ryan, Adria Arjona, Jessie Ennis, with Stephen Root, and Jacki Weaver, follows a newly divorced mother who returns to college to complete her degree, and ends up bonding with her daughter's friends.

Produced by On the Day Productions and New Line Cinema, the film was released on May 11, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics, who called it "a frustratingly middling comedy that never really figures out what to do with all that talent and fails to produce consistent laughs."


After dropping off their daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) to her senior year at Decatur University in Atlanta, Dan tells Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) that he wants the divorce because he has fallen in love with another woman, a realtor Marcie (Julie Bowen), and he also wants to sell their house under his name. Heartbroken, Deanna visits her parents Mike (Stephen Root) and Sandy (Jacki Weaver) to tell them what happened, but Mike is frustrated because Dan made Deanna drop out of her college because she was pregnant, as well as his overbearing ways during their marriage. Deanna goes to see Maddie in her dorm to tell the news about her divorce and her plans to study again at the university to earn a degree in Archaeology. Maddie initially doubt for her plan but she ultimately accepts it. Maddie introduces Deanna to her friends - Amanda (Adria Arjona), neurotic Debbie (Jessie Ennis), and Helen (Gillian Jacobs). Deanna later meets her agoraphobic and chronically depressed roommate Leonor (Heidi Gardner).

On the first day of school, she meets the demeaning girls, Jennifer (Debby Ryan) and her friend Trina (Yani Simone), who mocks Deanna's age. Deanna later signed the divorce papers, with her best friend Christine, in front of Dan and Marcie. At night, Maddie and her friends take Deanna to the party, where he meets the boy named Jack (Luke Benward), whom he later falls in love with her and, the next day, they have sex inside the library. In another night, they attend the 80's-themed party where Deanna has a dance-off with Jennifer, resulting in earning the respect of her schoolmates. Deanna later has a stage fright during her oral presentation and she faints.

While Deanna hanging out for the dinner with Christine, her husband, and their couple friends, Dan and Marcie unexpectedly show up, who declare that they are getting married. Jack turns out to be Marcie's son and knowing about Deanna sleeping with Jack, Marcie walks out in disgust. On the night of Dan and Marcie's wedding, Deanna and her friends get high from chocolate bark laced with weed, and they head to the reception, where they start wrecking the wedding hall. Dan, Marcie, and Maddie find them and Marcie tells Deanna she is cut off financially from Dan. Deanna is filled with shame, if only because of how Maddie saw her.

Deanna tries to make amends with Maddie, but she tells her that she is leaving college since she has no means of completing the rest of the year on her own. The girls then come up with a plan to throw a party to raise money to pay for Deanna's tuition. Since everyone is at Christina Aguilera concert, Helen posts the message on her Twitter, claiming Aguilera will be at the party after her show. Christine shows up with her husband, as do Mike and Sandy. Mike offers to give Deanna a 401K check to pay her tuition, but Deanna refuses to take it. The party is a partial success until Aguilera arrives and she puts on a show with Deanna and the girls to an excited crowd.

Later on, Deanna is due to repeat her presentation in class. She is still nervous until Maddie, Helen, Amanda, Debbie, and all the sorority sisters show up to support her, and Deanna manages to give the presentation with ease. At the end of the year, Deanna and Maddie graduate together, with all their friends and family there to support them. Maddie encourages Deanna to throw her cap in the air. She does so, and it hits Dan in the face, knocking out an earring he was wearing while Marcie berates him for losing the expensive diamond stud.


  • Melissa McCarthy as Deanna "Dee Rock" Miles (ne Cook)
  • Molly Gordon as Maddie Miles, Dan and Deanna's daughter
  • Gillian Jacobs as Helen, a sorority sister who is older than the rest due to having been in a coma for eight years.
  • Maya Rudolph as Christine Davenport, Deanna's neurotic and heavy drinking best friend
  • Jessie Ennis as Debbie, a sorority sister with "issues"
  • Adria Arjona as Amanda, another sorority sister with "issues"
  • Debby Ryan as Jennifer, a "mean girl" in Deanna's archaeology class
  • Matt Walsh as Daniel "Dan" Miles, Deanna's ex-husband, Maddie's father
  • Julie Bowen as Marcie Strong, a real estate agent, Deanna's nemesis and Dan's lover
  • Stephen Root as Michael "Mike" Cook, Deanna's father and Maddie's grandfather
  • Jacki Weaver as Sandy Cook, Deanna's mother and Maddie's grandmother
  • Luke Benward as Jack Strong, a frat boy infatuated with Deanna
  • Jimmy O. Yang as Tyler, Maddie's boyfriend and Jack's friend
  • Chris Parnell as Wayne Truzack, Deanna's professor
  • Heidi Gardner as Leonor, Deanna's reclusive Goth roommate
  • Yani Smone as Trina, Jennifer's snarky sidekick
  • Damon Jones as Frank Davenport, Christine's husband
  • Ben Falcone as Dale, the Uber driver
  • Nat Faxon as Lance
  • Sarah Baker as Gildred
  • Karen Maruyama as Mediator
  • Steve Mallory as Bill
  • Courtney Patterson as Amy
  • Steve Falcone (Ben Falcone's real-life father) as Older Man #1 / Vince
  • Michael D. McCarthy (Melissa McCarthy's real-life father) as Older Man #2 / Dennis
  • Christina Aguilera as herself (cameo)


Filming began in August 2016 in the metro Atlanta area. The sorority house used in the film is The Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast ( located in Covington, GA. The interior of the mansion was replicated in a warehouse in Decatur, GA for the interior scenes and the exterior scenes were filmed on location at the inn.


Life of the Party was released on May 11, 2018. The first official trailer for the film was released on February 5, 2018.


Box office

Life of the Party grossed 52.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $12.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $65.7 million.

In the United States and Canada, Life of the Party was released alongside Breaking In, and was projected to gross $18-21 million from 3,656 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $4.9 million on its first day, including $700,000 from Thursday night previews, down from the $985,000 McCarthy's The Boss grossed in March 2016, and similar to the $650,000 grossed by Snatched on the Thursday before the same weekend the previous year. The film went on to debut to $17.9 million, the lowest solo-starring opening of McCarthy's career, and finished second behind Avengers: Infinity War ($62 million in its third week); 80% of its audience was over the age of 25, while 70% was female. It fell 57% in its second weekend, to $7.6 million, finishing fourth at the box office, and another 33% to $5.1 million in its third, finishing fifth.

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 38% based on 126 reviews, and an average rating of 5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Life of the Partys good-natured humor and abundance of onscreen talent aren't enough to make up for jumbled direction and a script that misses far more often than it hits." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on reviews from 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, higher than the "C+" earned by each of McCarthy and Falcone's previous two film collaborations.

Matt Zoller-Seitz of gave the film two out of four stars, calling it "the latest Melissa McCarthy star vehicle that fails to do justice to the sheer awesomeness of its leading lady."

Leigh Monson from Birth.MoviesDeath wrote the next: "One hundred minutes of self-indulgence and tedium, even if it's well-meaning in its intentions."


Award Category Recipient Result
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie
Choice Summer Movie Actress Melissa McCarthy

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