What exactly would you do if you found out that your identity was stolen by a woman you’ve never met? That’s the premise of the movie Identity Thief, which was released in 2013.
Directed by Seth Gordon, this comedy film revolves around a woman named Diana, played by Melissa McCarthy, who steals the identities of individuals and enjoys a grand time on their dime before moving on to her next victim.
Sandy Patterson, played by Jason Bateman, is a family man residing in Colorado. Patterson receives a call from Diana saying someone tried to steal his identity. Diana offers him an identity protection service which requires him to give his name, birth date, and social security number to Diana. This identity theft puts Sandy at danger of losing his career. Faced with an impending dismissal, he attempts to resolve this problem by tracking her down and taking her to justice.
Jason Bateman is well-known for bringing a guy-next-door feel to the characters he portrays. For this reason, he’s perfectly cast as the plain and boring Patterson whose whole is turned upside-down. On a quest to regain his identity, Patterson unavoidably finds himself trapped in a series of incidents that disclose the deeper facets of his character.
Bateman stars alongside McCarthy, who is famous for her character in Bridesmaids and is known to be a remarkable actress who commits to every character she is given. This film is the first starring role for McCarthy. All of her scenes burst with her unrelenting energy, drawing the watchers in and creating a genuine connection to her character. Together, Bateman and McCarthy’s performances advance the script, making its run of almost two hours an entertaining ride.
Seth Gordon, who also directed the comedy Horrible Bosses, which also featured Jason Bateman, does a great job with the ambitious plot, particularly in making Diana pleasant and relatable. The film reveals the development in the relationship between Dianna and Sandy in a charming and hilarious way. In keeping with the comedic tradition of films like The Hangover and Horrible Bosses, the film features a series of funny scenes with the same raunchy energy and dynamism. Unsurprisingly, Diana keeps outwitting Sandy in numerous ways. Since Diana and Sandy share an identity, Sandy is forced to take a long road journey with Diana, giving the film the time it requires to cherish what would otherwise have been a short-lived relationship.
The R rating of the film is well-deserved. There are some scenes involving alcohol and an unusual sex scene that will have quite a few watchers blushing.
The final scene of the film falls a little flat; it isn’t quite as hilarious as the other scenes. But after 90 minutes of jokes and pranks, this isn’t an unforgiveable offense, particularly since a certain emotional resolution has to be achieved for the conclusion. All characters are transformed in some important ways, revealing a new side of their characters, and it all wraps up in a neat little bow. Certainly not as thrilling as the rest, but good enough.
The flat ending does nothing to diminish how hilarious this movie is. If you enjoy Jason Bateman’s deadpan humor, and the sort of raunchy energy present in movies like The Hangover and Horrible Bosses, you’ll definitely love Identity Thief.
Jeremy Nickerson is a freelance writer based in the city of Los Angeles, CA. Though Identity Thief is a funny film, identity theft itself is a very serious issue; those concerned about protecting their identity should view Protect Your Bubble ID Theft services.