by Izzy Smelkinson
Identity Thief, which was released in theaters on Feb. 8, is both cringeworthy and heartwarming, leaving audiences unsure of how to feel at the end of the movie.
The movie follows Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) in his journey to and from Florida to capture Diana (Melissa McCarthy), the woman who has stolen his identity. During their trip, they are met with many issues, including car crashes, unnecessary villains and a lot of terrible dialogue.
With a cast of leads heavily rooted in comedy (Bateman known for Arrested Development and McCarthy for Bridesmaids) the movie is surprisingly unfunny. The script is weak, with its primary laughs coming from unimportant physical comedy, inappropriate language and crude sexual references.
The one thing that makes the movie tolerable, however, is the performance of the two leads. The sarcastic tone with which Bateman delivers his lines and the subtle nuances he adds to his character are praisable and make him charming. McCarthy’s performance is shown in the opposite light, starting the film as an irritating character, making viewers want to pull their hair out, but ending on a sweet and endearing note.
Another admirable quality of the movie is the chemistry between Bateman and McCarthy. When the two are not yelling at each other in what seemed to be a never-ending circle of frustration, they portrayed the friendship between the two characters in the sweetest way, creating the most heartfelt moments of the movie, like when McCarthy’s character opens her heart to Bateman’s. However, these moments are rare and are overshadowed by the overall crudeness of the movie.
One standout in the movie is Eric Stonestreet, known for playing the flamboyant Cameron in Modern Family. Stonestreet plays Big Chuck, McCarthy’s butch love interest in the movie. Stonestreet’s versatility is admirable, even though his character is unnecessary to the plot.
The movie is rated R for sexual content and language. There is one scene that is a bit raunchy and the movie has a lot of superfluous cursing; giving a movie whose target audience is probably teenage boys a rating of R cuts out a large number of the potential viewers.
Aside from a few smart performances by the actors, Identity Thief stole two hours of my time.