Tammy (Melissa McCarthy), recently fired from a Toppy Jacks fast food restaurant, returns home to find her husband enjoying a romantic meal with their neighbor (Toni Collette). Mum (Allison Janney) won't let her use her car, but Grandma Pearl (Susan Sarandon), who is keen to take a road trip to Niagara Falls, flashes some cash and they are off. Both are big trouble.
Review by Louise Keller:
Contender for worst film of the year, Tammy is a painful experience. If you are looking for a good laugh, a well-written script, engaging characters, quirky relationships, a story with a bit of heart and having a whale of a time, this Melissa McCarthy comedy is not it. Directed by McCarthy's actor husband Ben Falcone and jointly written by the two of them, it is clearly a matter of being too close to the subject matter. What were they thinking? Perhaps they thought this self-indulgent road trip (with Susan Sarandon as Grandma Pearl) might work as a hilarious twist on the Thelma and Louise theme. No such luck.
To begin with, there is the credibility issue. Allison Janney is hardly believable as McCarthy's mother and Sarandon is not remotely old enough to be her grandmother, despite the curly grey wig. The rest of the cast is totally wasted too - Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Toni Collette, Dan Aykroyd, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass.
Playing essentially the same foul-mouthed character she has successfully portrayed in films such as Bridesmaids, Identity Thief and The Heat, McCarthy's Tammy has no endearing qualities whatsoever. She flings obscenities and ketchup packets at her boss (Falcone) when he fires her, abuses her mild-mannered husband (Nat Faxon) when she finds him with their neighbor (Toni Collette), yells at her mother (Janney), screams at Grannie Pearl (Sarandon) as she consumes whisky and men, makes a heavy-handed pass at a guy in a pub (Duplass), makes a scene in jail when arrested, gets aggressive at the Lesbian 4th of July party (Bates, Oh) ... you probably get the idea. With a good script, it might have been funny. As it is, it is a mix of an embarrassment and a yawn. As we all know, a comedy that is dull is the kiss of death. Dull AND embarrassing is death by sledgehammer.
The film's low-light comes when McCarthy (larger than ever), intent on robbing the fast food restaurant, waddles through the carpark with fake paper gun and greasy brown paper bag over her head, while adjusting her crotch in a most unladylike fashion. Perhaps the line that makes the most sense comes towards the end of the film, when Tammy says to Bobby (Duplass): Two messes together don't make an unmess. She is right and this big mess of a film is unsalvageable.
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CAST: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, Kathy Bates, Gary Cole
PRODUCER: Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy, Adam McKay
DIRECTOR: Ben Falcone
SCRIPT: Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russ T. Alsobrook
EDITOR: Michael L. Sale
MUSIC: Michael Andrews
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jefferson Sage
RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 16, 2014