Ben Falcone’s film based on a screenplay that he co-wrote with Melissa McCarthy (who stars) and Steve Mallory is a picture that succeeds on some counts while failing in believability in others. Certainly an improvement over TAMMY, a film Ms. McCarthy co-wrote with Mr. Falcone a couple of years back, this picture essentially has a strong story line that delivers for the first half then seems to spin out of control in the final third, I never the less enjoyed it most of the time. I love Ms. McCarthy and wish that most of her films were up to her talent as an actress (SPY and ST. VINCENT are good examples of better choices that she has made) however her talent is only going to carry her so far without strong scripts to supply support. Portraying a self-made corporate behemoth who is convicted of insider trading, she finds that all of her assets have been frozen by the government and her only option is to go and live with her former secretary and young daughter played with expert finesse by Kristen Bell and Ella Anderson. Finding the family she never had (having been an orphan who was constantly being returned by her prospective parents) she has to learn to trust in her need for true friendship and love. It was in these scenes that the film succeeds however in its need for humor it tends to stretch the bar and go for the lowest common denominator at times. Sometimes the humor works and sometimes it backfires, such as trying to seduce a security guard, however her idea to rebuild her empire by marketing Ms. Bell’s extraordinary brownies is by and large hilarious though sometimes hard to believe. A fine cast of actors lead by Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates and Tyler Labine lend support where they can to a picture I enjoyed while being disappointed in the overall outcome.
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