By John Campbell
There is not one scene in this mildly amusing comedy in which Melissa McCarthy is not wearing an outfit that includes an extremely high turtle-neck or equally chin-hugging scarf. Whether or not she had an unsightly scar that needed to be covered during filming or, as is at least equally possible, she was suffering a severe attack of body image stress and merely wanted to frame her face in a more flattering light is a moot point, for it became the elephant in the room as I watched fascinated to see what the costume designer might come up with next. Which is probably a fair indictment of the level of interest that the movie managed to provoke. Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) a ruthless, self-made billionaire, is convicted of insider trading and sent to the pen for her nefarious practices (which didn’t happen to the Wall St thugs after the GFC). Released back to the streets of Chicago, she finds herself penniless and without a home to go to. As a friend in need, she lobs at the apartment of single-mom Claire (Kristen Bell), a former employee who had shown Michelle more loyalty than she may have deserved. It has already been explained to us, rather heavy-handedly by director Ben Falcone (McCarthy’s husband), that Michelle’s disregard for the feelings of others has come about as the result of the rejection she regularly experienced as a child in a Catholic orphanage, so the odds are unbackable that Clare and her little girl Rachel (Ella Anderson) will ultimately provide the family love and affection that has been so lacking in her life – it’s signposted in neon. The script’s element of conflict is provided by the resentful Renault (Peter Dinklage), a colleague whom Michelle dudded on her way to the top. The story’s morality is muddled (is greed good or not?) and it contains too much silliness and overworked cliché. Despite the charm of Bell and the likeable Anderson, it is a waste of McCarthy’s undeniable comic talent.