Although Melissa McCarthy has acted in films since 1999, the role that truly solidified her as a household name would be the wise cracking tomboy Megan in the 2011 film Bridesmaids. Even though at that time she was also appearing in the TV show Mike & Molly, her over-the-top antics in Bridesmaids truly stole the spotlight from lead actress Kristen Wiig. Since that film, McCarthy has teamed up with the likes of Jason Bateman, Zach Galifianakis, and Sandra Bullock to make more and more comedies that showcase her hysterical onscreen antics. Teaming up with her real life husband as director, McCarthy is now starring in the new comedy entitled Tammy, which she also co-wrote with him.
Not departing from McCarthy’s usual self-deprecating humor, Tammy is a film about a woman who is meandering through the stereotypical course of life. She has a crappy car, crappy job, and a crappy husband. One day while driving to work she accidentally hits a deer which leads to her car being totaled and due to her lateness, she ends up getting fired. On top of all that when she gets home, she finds out that her husband is cheating on her with the next door neighbor. Fed up with everything that has just happened, Tammy decides to go on a road trip of self discovery with her alcoholic grandmother played by Susan Sarandon.
The main problem with this film and many other comedies nowadays is that they show you the best parts in the trailer. Although the plot of Tammy isn’t exactly new or groundbreaking, with McCarthy’s comedic sensibilities, this film could been hysterical. Unfortunately the film uses way too many standard comedy tropes that amount to a tired and ultimately unlikable formula. Mark Duplass is shoehorned into the plot as McCarthy’s possible new love interest with absolutely no onscreen chemistry that can be seen. His character is bland, boring, and easily forgettable. Kathy Bates also appears in the film as a very wealthy lesbian that helps to guide Tammy down a better path in life. However just like Duplass’ character, she is very written very two-dimensionally which leads to her also being easily forgettable.
The only true highlight of the film would have to be Sarandon. While I normally would her associate her with the genre of drama, as far as comedic timing and overall wit, she truly shines in this film. Her nonsensical, sex-crazed grandmother character overshadows McCarthy at every turn. Whether she is mixing alcohol with slushees or divulging stories of trying to sleep with Tammy’s father, Sarandon is doing something new and interesting and I absolutely loved it!
What this film should have been is a drama with comedic elements because that is what it ended up as. The film definitely has a heart and definitely can be very sentimental at times, but regrettably, it’s those aspects that eclipse all of the humor that is presented throughout. Nevertheless, everyone gives good performances within the film but a lackluster script is the overall downfall of Tammy.
Synopsis: A woman who is losing in the game of life, decides to go on a road trip with her crazy, alcoholic grandmother.
Director(s): Ben Falcone
Writer(s): Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Mark Duplass, and Kathy Bates
Runtime: 96 min.
Releases: July 2, 2014