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Melissa McCarthy Movies: 9 Films That Will Knock Your Socks Off (with Laughter)

From her breakout role on 'Gilmore Girls' to her most recent portrayal of Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid,' the actress has been making us laugh for years!

Melissa McCarthy is a name quickly recognized whether it’s from her breakout role on Gilmore Girls (2000) or one of her hilarious Melissa McCarthy movies. Whether she is a supporting character or the lead actress, McCarthy has a special way of making an audience burst out laughing with a simple line of dialogue.

MUST-READ: ‘Gilmore Girls’ Cast Then and Now: “It’s A Show; It’s A Lifestyle; It’s A Religion”

With the dozens of movies McCarthy has acted in, the comedian has made her mark on the industry with her fun loving spirit and sense of humor. Her breakout film performance came in 2011 when she starred in Bridesmaids, and her success only grew from there. McCarthy went on to star in multiple comedies per year, while also filming her hit sitcom, Mike and Molly (2010-2016).

MUST-READ: ‘Mike & Molly’ Cast Then and Now: Catch Up With Melissa McCarthy, Billy Gardell and More!

Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids” (2011)

While Melissa McCarthy movies are generally comedy focused, she has made a splash in other genres as well. The star recently became Ursula for the remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2023). She also starred in a crime/thriller film, The Kitchen (2019), as well as sci-fi thriller, The Nines (2007).

Check out some of the most hilarious Melissa McCarthy movies that will knock your socks off!

Bridesmaids (2011): Melissa McCarthy movies

As McCarthy’s breakout movie role, Bridesmaids put her on the map. Though she’d been in multiple films and series before, this movie landed her multiple awards (MTV’s for Best Comedic Performance) and nominations (Academy Award). Starring alongside Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Rebel Wilson, McCarthy and the cast brought the house down.

The movie, directed by Paul Feig, follows Wiig’s character, Annie, as she is asked to be her best friend’s (Rudolph) maid of honor. This romantic comedy sees McCarthy as a bridesmaid and the groom’s sister, Megan. Her honest and quirky self is a joy to see on the big screen and worth the laughs. McCarthy has even shared that she would reprise the role, telling People, “I would do a Bridesmaids sequel this afternoon, right now. That group of women was the most magical thing ever.”

The Heat (2013)

McCarthy and Sandra Bullock are a dynamic duo in this movie. Bullock as an uptight FBI agent and McCarthy as a foul-mouthed cop, team up to take down a cold-blooded drug lord. Though the two start off with a rocky relationship, they end up forming a tight bond by the end of the film. The duo won seven awards for their performance, including a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie.

Bullock and McCarthy are thick as thieves in real life, too! In an interview with E! News, McCarthy explained how close they’ve become since filming The Heat. “We’ve become quite good friends,” McCarthy said. “I think there’s no working that — either you hit it off like that or you don’t, and we just happened to. Which made [filming] so ridiculously fun!

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Tammy (2014): Melissa McCarthy movies

Tammy is one of the craziest Melissa McCarthy movies, as it follows a woman who gets fired and finds out her husband is cheating. Tammy then decides to take off on a road trip with her alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon). McCarthy’s performance as a woman scorned is comical, alongside those of Kathy Bates and Allison Janney.

The idea for the movie came from a dream McCarthy’s husband had. She recalls that Ben [Falcone]had a weird dream.” He said to his wife, “You go on a road trip with your grandmother and she drinks and she sleeps around. I’m gonna go write that movie.”

The film itself, however, didn’t perform all that well. Tammy received a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes and disappointing reviews from critics. Unfortunately, even with the stellar cast, Tammy didn’t quite hit the mark, but it does make a comedic splash for McCarthy.

Spy (2015)

McCarthy pulled out all the stops with this performance as she portrays desk-bound CIA analyst Susan Cooper. The actress goes on an undercover assignment in the film to prevent a disaster and avenge the death of another agent (Jude Law). She appears alongside her Bridesmaids costar, Rose Byrne, who now plays a Bulgarian arms dealer.

The movie was an immediate #1 at the box office and scored McCarthy and the film Golden Globe nominations. As far as filming sequels for any Melissa McCarthy movies goes, she would be thrilled to get the Spy gang back together, telling Collider, “We’ve talked a bunch of times about doing another one of Spy , just because it was such a fun group.”

The Boss (2016): Melissa McCarthy movies

In this 2016 film, McCarthy ditched the law enforcement characters to become powerful CEO Michelle Darnell. Though she is used to getting anything she wants, Darnell gets caught for insider trading and is sent to prison. Once she is released, she finds it difficult to regain her position at the top.

McCarthy stars alongside Kristen Bell and Peter Dinklage, all of whom offer up great performances. Unfortunately, audiences don’t rank this film as one of the actress’ best, but nobody can pull off this character quite like McCarthy.

Ghostbusters (2016)

The comedian teams up with Kristen Wiig yet again in this reboot of the 80s classic, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Alongside the duo is Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth. McCarthy snagged a Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress against her costar, Wiig, for her work on the film.

Though many thought the cast didn’t live up to that of the original 1984 film, Melissa McCarthy doesn’t understand it. Five years after the movie’s release, she explained to Yahoo! Entertainment, “Everybody should be able to tell the story they want to tell. If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to see it.”

Despite fans not loving the film, it received a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes and performed well at the box office.

Life of the Party (2018): Melissa McCarthy movies

After her husband unexpectedly asks for a divorce, Deanna (McCarthy) decides to head back to school to finish her degree. The former housewife attends the same college as her daughter, who isn’t pleased, and she gives her all to the college experience.

Like other Melissa McCarthy movies, the actress earned a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Star. Her performance as a housewife-turned-college student shows that moms and wives can have their own lives, too. She explained, “I think you get past a certain age and people think that it’s too late [to have your own life], but I don’t believe that. Being able to show that was really fun.”

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

McCarthy trades in her usual comedic roles for a more dramatic one as author Lee Israel. The writer drinks a lot and can barely pay rent, so Israel decides to forge letters from famous writers to sell. Though some start to catch on to her self-destructive cycle, Israel hires someone to help continue with her scheme.

The actress’ award-winning performance also snagged an Oscar nomination, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. McCarthy teams up with Richard E. Grant in this crime/comedy, which is based on the confessional memoir of the same name of, written by Lee Israel.

Melissa McCarthy flipping through book
Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018)

McCarthy tried to study up on the real-life author while preparing for her role, but she had difficulty doing so. After attempting to read all of Israel’s work, she said, “While Lee was a great biography writer who could live through other people, she didn’t put herself into her book. She didn’t want people to know about her.”

But somehow, McCarthy put her all into the performance and made the audience feel for the woman who committed literary forgery. The actress truly delivered in this role and the reviews and nominations prove that.

The Little Mermaid (2023): Melissa McCarthy movies

In this remake of the Disney animated classic, McCarthy took on the role of the infamous sea witch, Ursula. When Ariel (Halle Bailey) strikes a deal with Ursula to get human legs and impress a prince, she gives up more than she bargained for: her voice.

Melissa McCarthy as Ursula
Melissa McCarthy as Ursula in “The Little Mermaid” (2023)

Though McCarthy is skilled at creating iconic and hilarious characters, she was drawn to and most excited about portraying Ursula. “I loved her so much. She’s such a broad, I just wanted to have a drink with her,” McCarthy said. “And yes, she’s the villain, but I was like, I think I get her.”

As far as Melissa McCarthy movies go, this one was a major success, drawing in about $570 million at the box office — this Disney remake was a hit for McCarthy.

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