Identity Thief (9/10)
by Tony Medley
irrational; that's all there is to that.
are full of cotton, hay, and rags.
Cary Grant was
Hollywood's master at comedically displaying the frustration a
reasonable man has in dealing with an irrational woman. He did it with
Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, and other leading ladies of the 30s and
If Grant has an
acceptable successor in the 21st century, it is Jason Bateman. Here he
is a husband with a good job who finds his credit destroyed by Melissa
McCarthy, who steals his identity and runs wild 2,000 miles away.
Melissa defines what Prof. Higgins thought was irrationality.
Even if a movie
isn't wonderfully terrific throughout, if it contains a line that can
make me laugh uncontrollably I will probably give it a good rating. This
movie, however, has both. It is wonderfully terrific throughout, and it
does contain one line that had me laughing uncontrollably and still has
me laughing when I think about it now.
and McCarthy give award-quality performances (forget that, though;
Academy recognition for comedy's is few and far between; only 1934's
It Happened One Night and 1978's Annie Hall come to
mind), the supporting cast is equally good, especially Genesis
Rodriguez, who plays a killer pursuing McCarthy (and who delivers the
line that had me in stitches) and her partner killer T.I. But they
aren't alone in fine performances; Robert Patrick winningly plays a
skiptracer also pursuing McCarthy, and Jon Favreau is deliciously
hateful as Bateman's boss from hell.
wasn't looking forward to this film. The trailer didn't entice me and
I'm not a fan of McCarthy's performance in Bridesmaids. I'm a fan
now, though. She shows admirable range here.
The film has a
brilliant script (Craig Mazin) and direction (Seth Gordon, who directed
one of my favorite comedies from 2011, Horrible Bosses). I
hesitate to give credit to the line that broke me up to Mazin alone
because it might have been the director's idea to do it the way it's
handled, but Mazin might have written it that way, too. Whatever, this
line and the way it's delivered is so funny and unexpected it shows the
brilliance of both the writer and director, as well as Rodriguez's