She’s having the time of his life.
Although the title suggests a topic of severity, “Identity Thief” is a film of the exact opposite nature. Directed by Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses,”), and produced by those who brought us “Ted,” it tells the tale of the ever trusting and naive Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman, TV’s “Arrested Development,” “Horrible Bosses”) and his encounters with the street savvy Diane (Melissa McCarthy, TV’s “Mike and Molly,” “Bridesmaids”). After she manipulates him and steals his identity, he must track her down in order to bring back even the slightest sense of normalcy to his life. Throughout his trip from Denver, Colorado to Miami, Florida, the plot takes ridiculous twists and turns through the farthest reaches of the plausible, alternating between hilarity that makes your stomach ache to suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
I was a bit hesitant to see this movie as often times comedies can be even cheesier than Chick Flick RomComs. I cringed at the idea of sitting through nearly two hours of poor humor and even poorer attempts at a plotline. However, I am very pleased to say that “Identity Thief” went far beyond my expectations. “Identity Thief” managed to keep the watcher’s attention, all the while not delving too far into the realms of unrealistic and unwatchable. It kept the comedy raw and real, and many times leapt across the border to inappropriate, justifying this movie’s R rating. With a budget of $35 million, the movie practically paid for itself where it earned $34.5 million opening weekend alone, grossing over $100 million to date.
However, as funny as the movie was, I found myself frustrated by many of the jokes as a large portion of the humor dealt directly with McCarthy’s weight. I found these jokes to be archaic and overdone. The “fat” humor was played out back in the era of “The Three Stooges,” and I have always found it to be inane, and now sexist. Shows like “King of Queens” and “According to Jim,” portray an overweight man with an attractive woman. However, rarely, if ever, are the roles reversed, and if they are, the comedy lies solely on the weight of the woman. Both Bateman and McCarthy are hilarious actors, and I wish there would have been less superficial visual humor and more of the humor those two are capable of.
That being said, in all other regards, I enjoyed the movie quite a lot. I think that Melissa McCarthy is hilarious, and I’ve loved Jason Bateman since his days on Arrested Development. Together, I think these two are comedy gold, and the movie was one of the most humorous I’ve ever seen.
“Identity Thief” runs an hour and eleven minutes, and is playing at Regal Cinema in the Manor Plaza at 3:00 p.m., 5:35 p.m., and 8:10 p.m. Remember to stop by the SMC Ticket booth to get discounted student tickets.