Businessman Sandy Patterson soon resents his unisex name when a seemingly innocent Diana steals his identity and runs up a very big debt. In classic road-movie style once he’s captured Diana he must travel with her back to Denver so that she can explain herself to his boss, or Sandy faces losing his job.
It bears lots of resemblances to Due Date, and follows conventions quite tightly. You’ve got the classic love-hate relationship at the start and the oh-so-predictable ‘we love each other’ come the end. Diana soon becomes a good friend of the family, even Patterson’s somewhat suspicious wife. Why is it so conventional and predictable? Because it works.
A very simple conventional narrative has been put in place so that the writers and actors can really play with the characters. In fairness Jason Bateman is one of those actors who’s the same in everything. He plays the part well but it’s nothing exciting. The humour is almost completely all down to Melissa McCarthy. Her character has been very well developed, she has some hilarious lines and the action is even funnier. We’re faced with a less than conventional female lead that makes the predictability of the plot worth while.
It’s very colourful and over the top, as you’d expect from a comedy such as this and the humour is laugh-out-loud most of the way through. I was almost put off going to see Identity Thief not just because of the price of cinema tickets these days but also because of the many negative reviews I’d read…but I’m so glad I went!
For a comedy like this, Identity Thief hits all the right notes. It’s not distasteful in its humour, it’s not too brash or crude. It’s a character study of two very different individuals in the midst of a classic and enjoyable comedy plot. Melissa McCarthy is fantastically funny and proves she’s as versatile an actress as she is hilarious. While film-snobs will tell you it’s awful, I would say it’s a great laugh and very entertaining, and sometimes that’s all that matters.