Tammy Movie Review

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Melissa McCarthy is clearly in a rut: the title character in this film isn’t very far removed from her previous roles in The Heat and Identity Thief. Yes, Tammy is another chubby slob who is on the road to some sort of epiphany, and along the way she realises that simply running a comb through her ratty hair might make her look more human. At least the film has a seriously strong supporting cast who almost make it worth a look.

Tammy (McCarthy) is sacked from her job at a fast-food outlet on the same day she discovers that her husband (Faxon) is having a fling with a neighbour (Tony Collette). In a childish rage, she runs home to her parents (Allison Janney and Dan Aykroyd) and then decides to keep running, taking her grandmother Pearl (Sarandon) along for the ride. Pearl has a dream to see Niagara Falls before she dies, but she’s just about as immature as Tammy is, so they immediately start getting into trouble. Their antics include a series of incidents involving a jet-ski, flirting and more with a father and son (Gary Cole and Mark Duplass), robbing a burger joint and attending a raucous 4th of July party at the home of Pearl’s wealthy cousin (Kathy Bates).

Tammy is even less worldly wise than McCarthy’s previous variations on the character: she has never even attempted to grow up, so reacts to everything like a toddler. Aside from not being remotely funny, this is deeply annoying from the start. And even the characters around her don’t laugh – they roll their eyes in exasperation. Then after establishing her as a relentless loser who brings misfortune on herself, the script (written by McCarthy and her real-life husband Ben Falcone, who also directs and appears as Tammy’s boss) contrives to make Tammy sympathetic by portraying her as some sort of a victim. Meanwhile, she of course slowly begins to look less cartoonish simply because she changes her shirt and takes a shower along the way.

In other words, everything about the film sits right on the surface. Even the romantic plot-thread feels paper-thin, but it’s more engaging than the idiotic comedy mayhem. At least the film passes briskly, never lingering very long over its more pointless gags while offering some funny moments to Sarandon and the cameo-style supporting cast. In other words, there’s possibly a decent film in this material if the pratfalls were edited out and the focus was instead put on the character interaction and family issues. These things have hints of resonance and real humour to them, but the random barrage of slapstick is merely exhausting.

 

Cast & Crew

Director : Ben Falcone

Producer : Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Screenwriter : Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone

Starring : Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Mark Duplass, Gary Cole, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Nat Faxon, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh

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