Movie Review: TAMMY

Movie Review: TAMMY

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

McCarthy. Sarandon. Bates. Janney. Collette. All fantastic actresses that I love. Tammy has to be good, right? Well…You may want to think twice before buying your movie tickets this weekend. On the same day Tammy (McCarthy) is fired from her job at Topper Jacks, her car breaks down, and finds out her husband (Faxon) is cheating on her with the neighbor (Collette). She heads over to her mom’s (Janney) house and ends up going on a road trip with her Grandma Pearl (Sarandon). Their end spot may be Niagara Falls, but along the way they stop by Pearl’s cousin Lenore’s (Bates) house for an all lesbian 4th of July barbeque. Tammy and Pearl both have their issues, troubles, problems, and dirty habits, so the trip along the way is quite the adventure.

Apparently, Tammy has been a pet project for Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone. They have been working on it for years as they both wrote the script and Falcone sits in the director’s chair. Falcone also has a minor role as Tammy’s manager at Topper Jack’s. It’s odd that this is their special project as it doesn’t really have anything new to say. We have seen McCarthy play this type of dirty, crass, and obnoxious character numerous times before like Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Identity Thief. It has become her niche like many other comedians typically do. She is such a talented actress and is far better than playing the same old tired character over and over again. Her character Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls is nothing like what she has been playing lately. By the way, how come no one ever mentions Gilmore Girls when talking about McCarthy. It’s a wonderful show, so go out and add it to your summer binge list!

The trailers for Tammy have definitely played up this side of her character, but they are a bit misleading as the movie isn’t about how gross she can be. The story is more about the road trip and relationship she has with her grandmother and how the two of them grow and learn from each other. There is a bit of a transformation and growth with Tammy as she isn’t always dumb and getting into trouble. The problem with it is that it’s uneven in its approach. There is a side subplot involving a budding romance with Mark Duplass’ character. I enjoyed it even though it doesn’t quite fit in the movie. It is further proof that McCarthy would be great in a smart romantic comedy. There is a sweet and natural chemistry between the two of them.

The film boasts a wonderful cast of truly talented character actors who have all dabbled in comedies and dramas. We’ve got two Oscar winners (Sarandon, Bates) and three Emmy winners (McCarthy, Collette, Janney) present. They all make the movie tolerable as I typically enjoy whatever they are working on, yet everyone seems to be wasted here. Poor Allison Janney is stuck behind a phone most of the movie checking in with McCarthy and Sarandon’s road trip. I wonder if they are all friends of McCarthy and Falcone who decided to do them a favor by being in the movie. I know Sarandon has appeared on McCarthy’s TV show, Mike and Molly. With McCarthy, Janney, and Sarandon playing three different generations, you have to get over their lack of an age difference very early on. In case you were curious, there is only a twenty-four year age gap between McCarthy and Sarandon. According to IMDb, Shirley MacLaine was originally cast as the grandma but had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts. With Sarandon doing another road trip style movie, this made me want to go back and watch Thelma & Louise again.

I haven’t given up on McCarthy yet like I have done in the past with Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and Adam Sandler. I just think it’s time to retire this character type that she has gotten herself stuck into playing over and over. She is clearly far superior than this material. Since it has been in the works for years, I do wonder if she wrote this movie before she got into this rut. Maybe it would have played better if it had been released years ago.

Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? The movie has a couple of laughs, but they were already shown in the trailer. The movie is not nearly as funny as it could have been knowing how funny McCarthy can be.


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