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Identity Thief swindles in theaters

Written by Quasha Ross


The recent film “Identity Thief,” was quite colorful to say the least.

With a cast which included Jason Bateman from “Horrible Bosses,” and Melissa McCarthy from “Bridesmaids,” this film was obviously made to bring the comedy. Sandy Bigelow Patterson, played by Jason Bateman, is swindled by Diana (Melissa McCarthy), when she steals his identity. Her unrestrained spending has Sandy paying for ridiculous festivities, such as several rounds of drinks at a bar he’s never been to. Once Sandy realizes his identity has been stolen, his boss gives him one week to track down this scandalous thief and bring her to justice.

Directed by Seth Gordon, this film isn’t the most brilliant, but it makes up for it in comedy. There were many hilarious elements that had viewers crying with laughter. McCarthy’s painful punches to the throat and play time in oncoming traffic, planted the funny seed in fertile soil. McCarthy also uses her plus size figure as a pun for her character Diana in the film, but it narrates her underlying story as well. Diana is an outcast who resents others’ happiness–stealing identities is the one thing that brings her joy– oddly.

Jason Bateman’s character, Sandy, is the perfect protagonist. He’s a hardworking guy just trying to make ends meet. He has a wife, two young daughters and a third child on the way. He’s the “go with the flow” character in this film and he’s prepared to flow with any obstacle that comes his way. The opposite of Diana, he is honest and sensible, but when the maxed out credit cards and warrants for his arrest are thrown into the mix, Sandy is ready to take Diana down.

So what steals the brilliance from this film you ask? First, the plot seemed a bit unrealistic based on the emotions one would feel for someone who has admitted to stealing their identity. Diana is ruthless about her theft and shows no remorse until the very end. Also, whether this movie is a quest to bring a thief to justice or just a humorous road trip, it’s hard to tell. Of course the road trip allows both Diana and Sandy to see each other in an extremely different light and allows them to “have a heart” for one another.

Although the plot wasn’t concrete, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy were. They dominated the big screen with their full commitment to giving their audience a great laugh. McCarthy’s swift blast into the physical action, and Bateman’s superb sarcasm definitely saved this film from a crash and burn.

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