Movie Guyd: Does “Identity Thief” Steal Your Hearts or Just Your Cash?

Jay Catterson
Authored by
Jay Catterson

February 15, 2013
1:58 a.m.

So what do you get when you have Jason Bateman, star of the cult fave Arrested Development, and team him up with comedy it-girl Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike & Molly). A surefire Hollywood hit? Well, that’s what the makers of Identity Thief were hoping. Here’s the premise: Denver businessman and genuine nice guy Sandy Patterson (Bateman, and yes, he has a “girl’s” name) gets his identity stolen by Diana (McCarthy). Sandy travels to Florida in the attempt to bring Diana back to Denver so that she can clear his name and get his job back. Even though Diana initally resists, she is forced on a crazy road trip with Sandy back to Denver due to a pair of gangsters and a crazy hillbilly skiptracer hot on her heels. Hilarious hijinks or hot mess? Read on!

The good: Bateman and McCarthy. Hilarious. The scenes that feature them ad-libbing and taking jabs at each other are pure comedy gold. Plus, McCarthy has some deeply touching scenes later on in the film. This girl can act, yo!

The gay: Jason Bateman. Swoon. Even after all these years he’s still dashing, especially in a suit. Hotness.

There’s also a scene where Diana picks up a guy in a bar and ropes him into a potential ménage a trois situation with Sandy (against the will of Sandy, of course). Akward, yet hilarious. And it’s played by none other than Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, straight!

The bad: The screenplay is riddled with jokes that often fall flat. Like the joke about Sandy’s name being a girl’s name. Okay, we get it. He’s a guy. With a girl’s name. Seriously, it’s not that funny. And lots of guys have that name; lots of manly guys.

The fugly: Some of those outfits they make McCarthy wear are just plain hideous. We know she’s a Florida hick, but those get-ups, coupled with bad makeup jobs, just scream White Trash to the extreme. And in this day in age, tranny jokes are not funny. Seriously. Get with the times, people!

Ideal comedy or Identity crisis?  Overall, Identity Thief is a quirky take on the classic road movie, and features some hysterical moments between Bateman and McCarthy. However, the movie seemed a bit tepid. It was funny, but it could’ve been funnier. I say this one is a rental at best.

The Grade: B-


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