Identity Thief | EW.com

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Identity Thief

Identity ThiefOf the many qualities I adore about Melissa McCarthy as a comedian and as a dramatic actor, the best is how fully she gives herself to every character she...Identity ThiefComedyPT107MOf the many qualities I adore about Melissa McCarthy as a comedian and as a dramatic actor, the best is how fully she gives herself to every character she...2013-02-08Universal Pictures
STEALING THE SHOW Melissa McCarthy plays the title 'identity thief' opposite Jason Bateman in this comedy

STEALING THE SHOW Melissa McCarthy plays the title 'identity thief' opposite Jason Bateman in this comedy (Universal Pictures)

B-

Identity Thief

Genre: Comedy; Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy; Director: Seth Gordon; Release Date Wide: 02/08/2013; Runtime (in minutes): 107; Distributor: Universal Pictures

Of the many qualities I adore about Melissa McCarthy as a comedian and as a dramatic actor, the best is how fully she gives herself to every character she plays. There’s more than just bravery in her willingness to go all out; there’s also generosity, whether it’s putting the moves on an air marshal in Bridesmaids, downing a bottle of salad dressing on SNL, or, now, brazenly scamming her way through life in Identity Thief. In her first starring role in a feature comedy, McCarthy plays Diana, a resourceful, big-haired Florida grifter who leads the good life — at least by tacky big-haired standards — while running up a huge tab under a fake identity. And she hits a jackpot with the assets of one Sandy Bigelow Patterson, a sober-minded Colorado family man.

The story is about as subtle as a Florida theme park. Finding his life in shambles and tracing the destruction to her door, Sandy (benefiting from a full dose of Bateman’s patented contained exasperation) heads south to drag Diana to justice. And that’s where everything I said earlier about McCarthy meets its first challenge: There are no pauses in this hectic madcappery, not for a minute. So there’s barely an opportunity for the star to modulate her energy. Even during more tender moments, she’s working her butt off. The fault, I think, isn’t in our stars but in the script, running up a huge comedy tab the likable players can’t pay off. B-

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