Review: Tammy (2014)


With a string of hits in the bag (Bridesmaids, The Identity Thief and The Heat), Melissa McCarthy makes her first serious misstep with Tammy, a directionless road trip comedy she co-wrote with her husband Ben Falcone (who also directs). McCarthy stars as Tammy, a hostile, loud-mouthed loser who runs away with her elderly, equally as vulgar grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), after being fired and learning of her husband’s infidelity. Tammy isn’t so much a comedy as a lethargic, slapdash train wreck that unhurriedly – and randomly – coasts from one set piece to another. Aside from a botched robbery sequence, the humour misses the mark entirely, and any attempt at sincerity feels undeserved considering how workaday the narrative and character arcs are (Tammy and Pearl both end the film more or less how they started – no lessons learned or valued attained whatsoever). McCarthy is a decent comedic actress, but she’s dropped the ball here. Tammy is a fiasco that barely registers as a film, and a waste of not only her talent, but the talents of the whole top class ensemble – Kathy Bates, Toni Collette and Allison Janney, included – she’s wrangled as support.

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