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Tammy - Movie Review


1 star

Tammy means well. She really does but this road trip comedy is as unfunny as its trailers suggest. Co-written and directed by Melissa McCarthy’s husband, actor Ben Falcone, the film suffers from lack of vision; there is a better movie here just dying to come out. McCarthy’s vanity project (she produces, co-writes, and stars) goes off the rails rather quickly when a number of overqualified actors - Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Alison Janney, Toni Collette, Dan Aykroyd, and Sandra Oh - appear alongside her and simply have no material to work with.

Sarandon wears a ratty-looking wig and plays Tammy’s alcoholic grandmother as the two hit the road after an exceptionally bad day. Their destination? Niagara Falls. It does? Well, let it. Yes, that’s about as unfunny as the delivery gets throughout this movie based on a dream Falcone once had. Tammy has been fired from her job because of her mouth and comes home early to find her husband making a romantic dinner for Collette. Whoops.  What follows is a rambling parade of female-led shenanigans involving water-skiing, medical emergencies, armed robbery, and a grand old fourth of July party at Bates and partner Oh’s house.

The comedy could have been a lot funnier. In a broken America, the story of a Midwestern woman who loses her job, husband, and car all in the same day could have been poignantly funny had someone socially-minded and somewhat effective been plotting this out. Instead, we get a lot of unfunny Kevin James-like material slapped together to make an hour and a half mess with only a smattering of emotion tagged on at the very end. And that’s even if you buy what McCarthy is selling in her portrayal of an unlikable loser.

I’m all for socially awkward flicks but the low, low, levels McCarthy takes Tammy – without purpose, without meaning – only to reward the undeserving character at the end just makes little sense. Characters have to earn their stripes. And this movie begs for real characters instead of a paper-thin reality. The poster’s tagline for the movie -“She hit the road. The road hit back.” – has it right. The road continues to hit her with lessons she isn’t learning and then, inexplicably, there is a change to service only the end of the movie…not the actual character.

The character McCarthy plays in the movie is a sidekick at best in the typical comedy and not the main attraction. This makes embracing Tammy a bit of a burden because here the unpleasant and luckless person gets the most screen time. Ignorance runs amok and how do you reward it? Any screenwriter will tell you that it must be down with heart. Here, McCarthy rewards Tammy’s ignorance with even more ignorance, making her pretty much deplorable and deserving of everything that befalls her on this road trip from hell.  

Imagine if Bridesmaids only focused on McCarthy’s character? Holy hell. That movie would suck and that’s what you have with Tammy; the socially awkward sidekick gets their 15 minutes of fame and glory and the results are … ugly. She blames Obamacare for the price of gas; confuses Neil Armstrong for Lance Armstrong; and is one misstep away from being outcast forever as she approaches a stranger and forces her tongue down his mouth.

The new lows achieved by Melissa McCarthy in Tammy make this a road trip not worth taking.


[tab title="Film Details"]

Tammy - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for language including sexual references.
96 mins
: Ben Falcone
Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone
Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates
: Comedy
She hit the road. The road hit back..
Memorable Movie Quote: "You want some pie?"
Warner Bros.
Official Site: http://tammymovie.com/
Release Date:
July 2, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: Tammy, who was recently fired from a Toppy Jacks fast food restaurant, returns home only to find her husband enjoying a romantic meal with the neighbor. She quickly packs her necessities, and travels down three houses to her parent's home. Upon denied use of her mom's car to drive to Niagara Falls, she quickly resorts to an "ailing" grandmother, who also lives in the home...Only instead of traveling alone, Grandma Pearl wants in on the road trip. After realizing Grandma Pearl has the funds, they hit the road. Pearl soon proves to be quite the alcoholic despite her diabetes, and Tammy quickly turns into the "baby-sitter." From finding love in a bar to robbing a Toppy Jack's in order to bail Pearl out of jail,the quirky adventure will have you finding yourself riding along for the misadventures of Tammy..


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

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