Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Mark Duplass
Directed by: Ben Falcone
Written by: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 36 min
We’re introduced to Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) as she stumbles from one personal disaster to the next. Her car is wrecked in an accident with a deer, which results in her being late for work, again, and she gets fired. That then leads to her getting home early to find her husband having lunch with his new girlfriend. So she’s having a really bad day, and I guess we’re supposed to feel pity for her – right? Wrong!
She hit the deer because she wasn’t paying attention to the road. She was fired because she’s often late for work. Okay, stumbling on your cheating husband is rough, but that whole big discovery scene was weird too. Tammy walks in to find them having lunch. Lunch? Hardly damming evidence of an illicit affair, but therein lies the main problem with this film. It often contrives reasons for you to feel sorry for Tammy, but then has her go on an create more problems for herself.
So maybe my pity battery was drained, or my stock of empathy was running low, but I wasn’t able to connect to this character or this aimless mess of a movie. When Tammy is creating trouble, there’s a couple of isolated giggles to be had here and there, but for the most part I got the feeling everyone making the film was having a much better time than I was watching it.
It criminally wastes the talents of Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates, and delivers its bogus morality with all the subtlety of a brick to the face. Melissa McCarthy is a very funny woman, and I loved her roles in Bridesmaids and The Heat, because in those movies she was unapologetically loud and brash. In films like Tammy and Identity Thief, those comedic gifts are mostly ignored in favor of a bizarre need to make the audience pity her characters, and for me at least, it doesn’t work and it certainly isn’t funny.
If you enjoyed Identity Thief then you may get some enjoyment out of this. Tammy is rated R due to its somewhat mild language, and depiction of alcohol abuse. The movie though is trying to be more of a romantic affair rather than gross out comedy.
Tammy is nicely made, but not a visual feast for the eyes. If you can wait, a regular DVD or streaming show on your TV, laptop, tablet or phone will service this film well enough.
Kathy Bates delivers the pep talk to Tammy during the last act of the film. The usual garbage that all it takes to get ahead in life is to work hard. I find this kind of thing just irritating. So, if you’re not getting ahead you’re simply being lazy? Claptrap, and it insults the vast majority of people out there in the world that do work hard, and still have trouble making ends meet. Sorry – I’ll put away my soap box now!