Directed by: Ben Falcone
Written by: Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Duplass, Gary Cole, Sandra Oh, Toni Collette, Nat Faxon
Despite having a strong cast, Tammy is a tepid disappointment. It’s not funny, it’s not interesting, and well, it’s just not much of anything. That’s a shame, and a setback for star Melissa McCarthy, who co-wrote the film with husband Ben Falcone (who also directs).
Tammy starts out on a promising note, featuring one of the only mildly amusing sequences of the film. In a matter of hours, Tammy (McCarthy) totals her car, loses her fast food job and finds out her husband is likely cheating on her. Her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) has a wad of cash, a car and a burning desire to visit Niagara Falls. Wacky road trip ensues.
During their escapades, the women meet up with father (Gary Cole) and son (Mark Duplass) who serve as romantic interests for the two ladies and nudge the film into “romantic comedy” realm.
McCarthy has carved out a nice niche playing foul-mouthed lovable losers in a handful of films (Bridesmaids, The Heat) and so far, she has done it well. Time for a reality check. If she hopes to regain her career momentum, she’s going to have to reinvent herself to some degree. The character of Tammy is simply melded from several of McCarthy’s previous character roles. The result is dull, boring and familiar.
Sarandon does the best she can with the material, but playing a horny boozehound grandma is clearly beneath her talents. Other cast members are curiously underutilized. Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd and Toni Collette appear in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it supporting roles. Kathy Bates fares better, but is reduced to a stereotype that borders on offensive. Rarely will you see this much waste of talent in an ensemble cast.
Tammy is an unfortunate stumble for McCarthy, and it suffers from a severe lack of identity. Is it a rom-com? Is it a raunchy R-rated comedy? Who knows? Who cares? The writers certainly didn’t know, how can we? To be avoided at all cost. — Shannon