Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Seth Gordon|
|Produced by||Scott Stuber |
|Screenplay by||Craig Mazin|
|Story by||Jerry Eeten |
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Edited by||Peter Teschner|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$174 million|
Identity Thief is a 2013 American comedy film directed by Seth Gordon, written by Craig Mazin, and starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. The film tells a story about a man (Bateman) whose identity is stolen by a woman (McCarthy).
The film received negative reception from critics, but was a commercial success, grossing over $174 million worldwide against a budget of $35 million.
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In Denver, accountant Sandy Patterson buys identity theft protection from Diana, a con artist, over the phone and reveals all of his personal information. At work, after Sandy clashes with his obnoxious and bullying boss, Harold Cornish, he receives a phone call that reminds him he has an appointment at a salon in Florida. Confused, he puts it out of his mind when co-worker Daniel Casey suggests they and several others leave Cornish's company and start their own firm; Sandy agrees to join them.
Sandy gets suspicious when his credit card is declined while trying to pay for gas, and Luis, the attendant, cuts it up. As the credit card company tells him that he has spent huge amounts of money in Florida, he is arrested for missing a court date there after Diana was booked under Sandy's name for assault and public intoxication at a nightclub two weeks earlier. At the police station, Detective Reilly determines Diana has stolen Sandy's identity after looking at Diana's mugshot. The situation worsens when the police ask Daniel, now his boss, about Sandy's possession of drugs. Reilly says Sandy's name was used to buy drugs from someone named Paolo. Even though it's clear Sandy is not guilty, Reilly states he cannot be formally cleared of suspicion until they have evidence of Diana's guilt as it still could technically be Sandy in the eyes of the law. Daniel states they may have to fire Sandy due these issues. When Reilly says they can do nothing due to jurisdictional issues unless the identity thief is in Denver, Sandy offers to retrieve her and convince her to clear his name with his boss, despite his wife, Trish's concerns. Reilly agrees with Sandy's plan, and Daniel gives Sandy a week to clear up the mess, otherwise he will lose his job.
Sandy manages to track Diana at the salon in Florida, but when he confronts her, she attacks him and steals his rental car. Finding her address in her abandoned car, he investigates her house, which is full of merchandise and stolen credit cards. The pair scuffle; before Sandy can handcuff her, criminals Marisol and Julian burst in, angry that Diana gave Paolo bad credit cards. After Sandy and Diana escape, Sandy tells her about his plan to restore his reputation, and she agrees to help on condition that no police are involved. Sandy agrees, but secretly plans to have police in the next room when she speaks to his boss. Because their IDs are identical, flight is impossible, and they travel to Denver by car.
Meanwhile, a skiptracer is dispatched to track down Diana for a substantial bounty. He catches up to the pair at a motel in Georgia and captures Diana. Sandy gives chase; Diana knocks the skiptracer unconscious, and Sandy rams his van off the road. When Sandy's rental car gets plowed and totaled by an oncoming semi, they take the skiptracer's van, with him tied up in the back. When it overheats, they continue on foot. Diana thanks Sandy for saving her and calls him a good friend, but Sandy coldly says they are not friends. Hoping to reach a nearby bus station, they take a detour through a forest, but get lost and have to spend the night. Sandy discards his pants when he finds a snake in them, and Diana accidentally knocks him unconscious when another bites his neck. The next morning, Sandy wakes at a bus station, and Diana says she carried him until she flagged down a truck. As the next bus to Denver leaves in three days, Sandy uses money hidden in his socks to buy a $200 car from an auto wrecking yard. Low on funds for gas money, Diana offers to help; Sandy is at first reluctant, but Diana asks if he does not know anyone who truly deserves it. The pair then con an accounts processor at a branch of Sandy's old firm in St. Louis, and, out of vengeance, steal Cornish's identity to create new credit cards. Meanwhile, Marisol shoots the skiptracer, and the criminals continue their pursuit of Sandy and Diana.
That evening, the two share dinner, and Diana admits she does not know her real name due to growing up as a foster child. Soon, the accounts processor enters with the police, who arrest Sandy and Diana. Diana uncuffs herself in the back of the police car, breaks the back windshield, and escapes with Sandy. The skiptracer shoots and abducts Marisol and Julian, finds Diana and Sandy on the highway mid-escape, hits Diana with his car, and is arrested, along with Marisol and Julian. Sandy comes to her aid, but Diana revives and defensively strikes Sandy in the throat. Diana and Sandy begin finishing their journey and return to Denver the next evening, where Diana has dinner with Sandy's family and reconciles with them.
The next morning, Sandy finds Diana gone and a note that apologizes for the trouble she caused. Sandy prepares to quit his job, but Daniel shows him that Diana turned herself in. Detective Reilly tells Sandy he is no longer part of the investigation, then congratulates him for catching Diana, who is then arrested. Before she leaves, Sandy asks her why; Diana says she knew he would not turn her in, but it was the right thing to do. A year later, Sandy celebrates another birthday, this time with his third child. The family visits Diana in prison, and Sandy presents her with a birth certificate that reveals her name as Dawn Budgie. They both agree it is an awful name. When Diana heads back to her cell, a guard insults her, Diana punches the guard, and another guard stuns her with a Taser. As she recovers and walks back to her cell, Sandy watches with a shocked and slightly bemused expression.
The film was first conceived as a project with two male leads, but that changed when Bateman saw McCarthy in Bridesmaids and pushed for her to star alongside him. Jerry Eeten wrote an early draft, later finished by Craig Mazin with a final rewrite by Seth Gordon. In January 2012, Gordon was announced as the director of the film with Scott Stuber producing through his Stuber Pictures banner with Bateman and Peter Morgan for DumbDumb. In April 2012, John Cho, Clark Duke and Amanda Peet joined the cast (Duke did not appear in the finished film). In May 2012, Jon Favreau and Morris Chestnut also joined the cast.
Some filming took place in Atlanta at the 191 Peachtree Tower, around May 2012. Scenes were also filmed on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, at The Colonnade restaurant on Cheshire Bridge Road in Morningside, and at Perimeter Mall. Scenes from the film were also shot at Salon 2000 in Ansley Mall.
In March 2012, a release date of May 10, 2013 was announced. In June 2012, the release date changed to February 8, 2013.
The first official full-length trailer of the film was released on September 26, 2012.
Identity Thief has grossed $134.5 million in the USA & Canada, and $39.5 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $174 million against a budget of $35 million.
Identity Thief opened at #1 at the box office with $34.5 million in its first weekend, which was considered remarkable by analysts since a major winter storm, often a concern with winter dump months releases, forced theater closings and kept moviegoers at home in the densely populated Northeast. The film held the #2 spot in its second weekend, grossing $27.5 million and only dropping 20.5%. It reclaimed the #1 spot in its third week opening.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 19% based on 170 reviews with an average rating of 4.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Identity Thiefs few laughs are attributable to Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, who labor mightily to create a framework for the movie's undisciplined plotline". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 35 out of 100 based on 41 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine gave the film a positive review, rating it 3 out of 4 stars, praising McCarthy's performance, writing that she "gives a performance leagues better than anything to be expected in a mainstream, early-in-the-year release, padding a typically sketched character with layers of hilarity and pathos. McCarthy owns 'Identity Thief' with a turn of limitless surprise, making an otherwise adequate comedy soar as a star vehicle. She is riveting in simply-penned moments of remorse and confession, adding tearful depth to her ace timing and formidable physical comedy." Peter Debruge of Variety magazine praises McCarthy but criticizes the script, saying "Melissa McCarthy proves she's got what it takes to carry a feature, however meager the underlying material." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2/4 and wrote: "It wants to be "Midnight Run" meets "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," but it carries little of the dramatic heft and real-world semi-plausibility of those much superior efforts." He concludes "Here's hoping someone finds a much better vehicle for these terrifically talented actors."
Bob Mondello for NPR described the film as "Two Hours Stolen", calling it "a catalog of missed opportunities", and "uninspired trudge of a road movie". Mondello particularly criticizes the script for wasting the talented lead performers, setting up Bateman as stupid and dull, while subverting McCarthy's improvisational skills and undercutting her comic timing with interruptions. James Berardinelli of ReelViews.com gave the film 1/4 and wrote: "This feels a lot like some of the recent, unwatchable Adam Sandler offerings: boorish, unfunny comedy colliding with saccharine, quasi-dramatic filler." He thought the trailer was a fair representation of the film and that viewers that liked it might get more than the few chuckles he got out of the film. Berardinelli says the film is not simply bad but manages to "cross the line into reprehensible." Dana Stevens at Slate.com considers the implications of the "brazenly grotesque" character that McCarthy plays and how it is an uneasy balance between feminist trailblazing and preservation of stereotypes. Stevens would be more willing to forgive the film for "its overfamiliar comic setups and shameless gag-recycling if the movie's second half didn't make such an abrupt about-face from soliciting our revulsion to begging for our pity."
In his negative review, Rex Reed made several references to Melissa McCarthy's weight, referring to her as "tractor-sized," "humongous," "obese," and a "hippo," Reed's comments immediately attracted wide criticism from various film critics and the film industry at large. Film critic Richard Roeper said, "This just smacks of mean-spirited name-calling in lieu of genuine criticism." On Twitter, Paul Feig, who directed McCarthy in Bridesmaids and The Heat, wrote, "I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go fuck himself." The review was referenced at the 85th Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 by the host, Seth MacFarlane, who joked that Reed would review Adele for singing "Skyfall" at the ceremony. In a column for The Huffington Post, Candy Spelling likened Reed's review to bullying. Reed stood by his comments and stated his objection to the use of serious health issues such as obesity as comedy talking points. He dismissed the outrage as being orchestrated for publicity, but praised McCarthy for not getting involved in the matter, calling her "completely classy." McCarthy later responded, expressing surprise the review was published, and said "I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that's someone who's in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids".
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Jason Bateman||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Villain||Nominated|
|2014||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Comedic Movie Actress||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Musical Performance||Nominated|
|Best Fight||Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
I do not have, nor have I ever had, anything personal against people who suffer from obesity