Although Winter Storm Nemo may have kept Northeastern audiences away from the opening night of “Identity Thief,” the movie took in $36.6 million in its first weekend.
The relatively inexpensive comedy ($35 million budget) directed by Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses,” “Four Christmases”), introduces Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman), a family-man with three children, a wife and a perfect track record.
Yet, when Patterson falls victim to Diana (Melissa McCarthy), a professional con woman, his life is turned upside down. Now with his family, career, finances and credit score on the line, Patterson chooses the only option that can save them all: taking the 2,000 mile journey from Colorado to Florida to find and catch Diana in the act himself.
This search for Patterson’s identity spawns an unlikely friendship.
Diana turns out to be a widely misunderstood, stout woman who is more comical than intimidating. McCarthy’s appeal, and no doubt the reason the film made as much as it did in its first weekend, stems from her popularity in 2011’s “Bridesmaids,” which put her on the map.
Although she had roles in television shows such as “Gilmore Girls” and “Mike & Molly,” it was that film that catapulted her to comedic fame. Her ability to fully commit herself to her character Megan in “Bridesmaids” has allowed for her first starring role in a feature comedy.
Yet, someone’s always a critic.
According to a review on explorernews.com, critic Evan Hoffman says, “‘Identity Thief’ is not an icon of the comedy genre, nor does it raise bars by any definition.” He continues, “It is merely a cluster of cheap laughs trapped in a 115-minute mess. It may prove perfect for a sick day on the couch when it joins the new releases of the freebies on Netflix, but it is hardly worth the hefty ticket price.”
I can see how some people may have also seen the humor as more offensive rather than laughable. At one point in the film, when Diana is trying to run away from Patterson, he catches up to her in a few long strides. When she stops short of breath, she looks up at him and says, “What are you, a Kenyan?”
Although I do not think that the movie was as good as “Bridesmaids,” it was 115 minutes of constant laughs.
Maybe Hoffman was having a bad day or just doesn’t have a sense of humor, but you can be sure that I will be the first in line to buy it when it comes out on DVD. And, I only ever buy movies I absolutely love.
It was worth every penny of that “hefty” ticket price.
Be sure to check out “Identity Thief” to find out what Diana’s actual name is!