Identity Thief is one of those movies that is guaranteed not to win awards during next Oscar season and it doesn’t redefine comedy like Bridesmaids did, but as a comedy it provides a few chuckles and as an escape from winter weather it fills the bill. The plot is pretty straight forward; man based in Colorado with a female sounding name Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) has his identity stolen by a woman in Florida and finds his credit in the crapper. To remedy the situation requires the culprit come to Denver to prove his innocence, so he journeys off to the Sunshine State.
There aren’t any surprises with Identity Thief except that this film has proven there is an audience willing to plunk down money to see Melissa McCarthy make us laugh. I imagine her success has some balding Hollywood exec in an overpriced suit scratching his head. (God knows what Rex Reed is doing now that his comments about McCarthy prove his heyday as a reviewer peaked around 1976.) She has verified that she can open a movie and can be funny without being surrounded by a hilarious supporting ensemble, but can she keep the momentum? She is pairing up with Sandra Bullock in the upcoming film, The Heat so hopefully her star will continue to rise. Oh, she also in a sitcom.
Jason Bateman is an interesting actor who has made a nice niche as the comedic straight man. He first came to prominence as a teen heartthrob sitcom star (he actually started his career on Little House on the Prairie as an orphan boy who is adopted into the Ingalls family – kind of like the Cousin Oliver of Walnut Creek). Later his career was revived when he starred in Arrested Development a show that never caught on with general audiences but had a devoted core following although that didn’t save it from cancellation. However like a Phoenix, Netflix has licensed 14 new episodes to debut in May of this year (7 years after the show was canceled).
Identity Thief also stars Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, Robert Patrick, John Cho along with Kansas City’s own Eric Stonestreet as a love struck cowboy that audiences will soon not forget.
I recommend seeing Identity Thief if you are looking for a nice piece of escapism and don’t want to think too much about plot. I think it will play just as well on cable or as a DVD. Side note, it was also fun to see our sister city (not Seville, Spain, the less glamorous ciudad – the one across the state) St. Louis featured in the film.