41. Identity Thief (R) - Runtime: 111 minutes
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Bateman
Director: Seth Gordon
Writers: Craig Mazin, Jerry Eeten
Odd couple comedies are a hard act to pull - you have to maintain a healthy amount of laughs while not being too annoying with the oddball character. Ultimately, it comes down to the characters - are these people we want to spend two hours with? Unfortunately, Identity Thief falls flat on its face with not only poorly written characters but a really bad premise that is hard to find any laughs with.
The movie starts off on a bad note - Sandy Patterson, some accountant in Denver, does the dumbest thing he could do - he gives out his personal information over the phone. Diana is on the other end of the line in Florida and promptly takes all his info to go on a huge spending binge. We are immediately shown Diana living the high life - boozing it up and buying all sorts of crap - there is no sympathy involved in these scenes. Well, except for when the bartender tells her she has no real friends which starts this whole sympathy for Diana thread that honestly, does not work . Of course she gets arrested and the real Sandy Patterson gets arrested for skipping a court date in Florida. Obviously it's a huge mistake, but it seems the cops are in the movie just to be dicks and they can't possibly do anything to help him out, thus ensuring there's a plot. Instead, of you know, being based in reality where identity theft is properly handled by cops and private companies can be hired to take care of your troubles.
The movie's more frustrating than funny at this point and it only gets more ridiculous once Sandy tries to take her back to Denver to face charges (even though all of his identity woes and her arrests took place in Florida - this logic just shows how far the movie has to bend backwards in order to service the whole road trip plot). There's two really dumb b-plots in that another redneck-type bounty hunter is out to get Diana too and a drug cartel is out to kill her - they're both completely absurd and don't provide any sort of laughs.
McCarthy is a funny lady, but here she's just annoying and the movie really pushes hard that Diana is just caught up in her circumstances and really just needs a family. Awwww, that's so sweet! But you know what? I didn't care because the movie was about identity theft and no amount of sweetness could make me feel sympathetic towards these people. Just because she's an orphan and wants to be loved, give me a break.
The movie is just one big giant frustrating poop. It's not that funny nor does it come even close to reality in representing what would really happen. Bateman and McCarthy seem to be sleepwalking through this movie and I really couldn't NOT recommend this movie any less!
Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!