Director: Ben Falcone
Studio: New Line Cinema, Gary Sanchez Productions
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates
It’s all on Melissa McCarthy in Tammy. The motormouthed
comic scene-stealer of Bridesmaids, The Heat and Identity Thief now storms the multiplexes with Tammy, a comedy vehicle she produced and cowrote with her husband Ben Falcone, who makes his debut as a feature director. It’s crap on toast.
McCarthy plays a mouthy Midwestern minimum wage slave who loses her job behind a fast food fryer, trashes her car when she nearly kills a deer on the road, catches her slimy husband (Nat Faxon) with another woman (Toni Collette), decides to flee town and teams up with her boozy, crackpot grandmother (Susan Sarandon) for some skimpy, sloppy, unfunny road trip madness. Hats off to the gifted, funny McCarthy for using her well-earned clout to strut her stuff solo, try something different and aim to say something worthwhile about aging, the economy and woman-to-woman relationships. But the ideas are half-baked and this thing never gels. Even weighted down with a curly-fries fright wig, Sarandon looks way too young to play McCarthy’s grandmom, and Allison Janney (also bewigged) plays McCarthy’s mother, despite being only a decade or so older. Distracting stuff, but maybe it wouldn’t matter if the adventures—at a country and western club, getting drunk, getting thrown into jail and a Fourth of July bash with a lesbian couple (Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh)—didn’t seem like leftovers from movies like The Guilt Trip, only with too much improvisation and even less charm. McCarthy and her cohorts deserve better than this.