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This is the movie we Melissa McCarthy fans have been waiting for: a sweet, silly and stealthily smart spoof that delivers genuine laughs.

Paul Feig and McCarthy reunite (Bridesmaids, The Heat) in this spy comedy that is, for most of the time, an affectionate spoof on the genre. As the CIA desk operative turned undercover operative, she not only lands her best film role, but niftily scores as not just a physical comedienne, but a savvy actress, making us care far more for her plain-Jane Susan than we ever did for 007’s Moneypenny.

As he did with McCarthy in Bridesmaids, Feig casts a super group of supporting players, either primarily unknowns or very well knowns, in previously primarily unknown territory. Who knew Jason Statham had such precision comic timing? Or that Rose Byrne could carry an hysterical character so far? And while the story and even the individual laughs of this romp may not stick with me, the scene stealing performances of Miranda Hart and Peter Serafinowicz will.

It may not be this film’s sole purpose, but it’s nice to be able to note the almost undercover go-girl themes at play here. As he has done before, Feig allows his women to be full characters, CIA directors, villainesses, or loveable dorks. Women who recognize a handsome man when they see one, but also know an evening well spent can be an evening with the girls.

What’s even better is that this McCarthy/Feig collaboration isn’t just a movie that works for the female viewer. It’s a big, self-assured comedy, one that’s happy to share the fun. 

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