I loved Melissa McCarthy on Gilmore Girls, so I was glad to see her get a mainstream break in Bridesmaids in 2011, but nothing McCarthy did after that lived up to the promise of Bridesmaids. That movie made McCarthy seemed like a comedic tour de force, someone with the ability to reach the level of Lucille Ball as an entertainer—beloved by popular audiences and critics alike, not only a gifted comedic performer but a genuinely talented actress, too. But then came the reprehensible Identity Thief and the equally terrible Tammy—a project McCarthy produced, making me question her taste—as well as the mediocre The Heat. I thought McCarthy was going to be relegated to where Kevin James lives - the only “humor” comes from falling down.
But McCarthy has re-teamed with Paul Feig, writer and director of Bridesmaids, for the action-comedy Spy, due out June 5, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. It’s not just that critics are judging the movie to be good, it’s the palpable sense of relief in many of the reviews, like—finally, something worthy of McCarthy’s talents. Spy is about a CIA analyst played by McCarthy who enters the field for the first time after an agent disappears. It’s a solid premise, especially as Jude Law and Jason Statham play the field agents, with Statham in particular lampooning his own image as a hyper-masculine action tough guy. The trailer for Spy is pretty funny, so here’s hoping the movie lives up to the hype and Melissa McCarthy finally has a proper showcase for everything she can do as a leading lady.