Cary, NC — Tammy is a harmless R-rated comedy starring Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Heat) as the titular character who takes a road trip with her alcoholic Grandma, played by Susan Sarandon, after walking in on her husband having a romantic dinner with the neighbor.
I know it sounds a little heavy, but Tammy is a slight, if not completely successful comedy anchored by a talented comedic cast.
This film marks the first time that McCarthy has written a project, an undertaking she took with her director/husband Ben Falcone (who has a cameo early in the film) and overall the results are mixed. As a performer, McCarthy has proved time and time again that not only is she incredibly funny, but also that she is usually the best thing about any film she’s appearing in. She even garnered an Academy Award nomination a few years ago for her work in Bridesmaids, a feat made all the more impressive considering that the Academy rarely recognizes comedic performances.
McCarthy Gives It Her All, But Comes Up A Little Short
And once again, McCarthy gives her all as Tammy, a simple, down on her luck fast food employee who loses her job within minutes of the movie starting, leading to the aforementioned road trip with her Grandma. It’s a role that McCarthy could do in her sleep. She doesn’t, thankfully. However, the script she doesn’t give this talented performer a whole lot to do.
I believe their intention was to have Tammy as a somewhat crude and needy yet lovable and relatable character, but that just never happens. Tammy never feels like a real person, which makes it hard to feel for her when something bad happens, and even harder to laugh with or at her when the time calls for it.
Supporting Cast Saves Leading Lady
Despite such a misstep for the leading lady, Tammy is able to redeem itself a bit thanks to a notable supporting cast that includes Kathy Bates (Misery, Titanic), Allison Janney ( The West Wing), Mark Duplass ( The Mindy Project), Gary Cole ( Office Space), Sandra Oh ( Grey’s Anatomy) and even Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters).
Duplass gets most of the screen time out of everyone outside of McCarthy and Sarandon as Tammy’s potential love interest. He has an easy chemistry with McCarthy and, while I didn’t quite buy them as a couple, both make the best out of their time together. It was also in these scenes that the character of Tammy at least started to resemble an actual person.
Not Worth A Trip to the Theater, But Not A Write Off Either
Overall, even with its misgivings, Tammy is a breezy comedy anchored by a ridiculously talented supporting cast. I don’t quite think it’s worth the price of admission, but it would definitely make an easy rental.