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SYNOPSIS: A titan of industry is sent to prison after she's caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.

Review by Louise Keller:
Melissa McCarthy fans will enjoy the ride, although this one-joke comedy limits itself within its predictable comic boundaries. Peter Dinklage is the film's greatest asset - his dastardly Samurai sword-yielding mogul with the new pretentious name is impossibly wonderful - or wonderfully impossible as the occasion demands. In any event, Dinklage is loads of fun, never taking himself too seriously and delighting at every turn.

This second collaboration between director Ben Falcone and McCarthy may have looked better on paper (Tammy was the first in 2014). Rejected orphan becomes a foul-mouthed tyrant driven by financial success; losing it all and doing time for insider trading; rebuilding fame and fortune with schoolgirls and chocolate brownies; major falling out with former flame and business partner Ron - now called Renault (Dinklage), who travels around in stylish limos and private planes with champagne service.

To my mind, it would have worked better had McCarthy's Michelle Darnell discarded her perfectly groomed persona complete with flame-coloured hair that doesn't move, false lashes, nails, designer wardrobe and all the trimmings through the ups and downs of her predicament. That might have enabled her to become 'real' and potentially more endearing, as opposed to going through the paces in a vanity project. The fact that McCarthy looks exactly the same throughout - be it in jail, fronting a glam How-To-Get-Rich conference or in bed at night, keeps us at arms length, never allowing us to peek behind the veneer. Even her moist eyes through the 'families are for suckers' scenes reek of the crocodile variety. Kristen Bell, as Michelle's former chief of staff and brownie-maker extraordinaire is the flipside of the coin - the vulnerable single mother who opens up her home as required. She is terrific and Ella Anderson is well cast as her impressionable warm-hearted daughter. Kathy Bates is thrown away in a brief cameo as Michelle's mentor.

It's all played for laughs - like the sofa bed that slams shut unexpectedly and the indignant school mother with the precious daughter who ends up in a street brawl that starts as a verbal tirade and ends as a free-for-all physical assault. As for the moral of the story - there is none. Like Wall Street, the film reinforces that greed is good and it is okay to walk over everyone, bleating obscenities. While that may not matter in a crass comedy Will Ferrell style, Ferrell's ability to laugh at himself may be the reason we buy it. McCarthy seems to be taking herself too seriously this time around.

Published August 3, 2016

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(US, 2016)

CAST: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Schaal, Kathy Bates, Cecily Strong, Margo Martindale, Tyler Labine, Parker Young, Timothy Simons, Ella Anderson, Annie Mumolo

PRODUCER: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

DIRECTOR: Ben Falcone

SCRIPT: Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy


EDITOR: Craig Alpert

MUSIC: Christopher Lennertz


RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes





DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 3, 2016

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