Movie Review
Tammy poster
By Craig Younkin     Published July 3, 2014
US Release: July 2, 2014

Directed by: Ben Falcone
Starring: Melissa McCarthy , Allison Janney , Susan Sarandon , Kathy Bates

R for language including sexual references
Running Time: 96 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $84,203,000
It’s a lousy movie that McCarthy has written with her husband that again sheds doubt on whether she’s funny.
Craig Younkin is also a reviewer for Movie Room Reviews

Win or lose, it was always pretty clear that “Tammy” was going to be a surprise. I say that mainly because I couldn’t tell what the hell it was going to be to begin with. From the outset it looked like it was about a woman robbing fast food places while dressed up like she was going to a reunion for all the extras in Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” video. Sadly the real “Tammy” doesn’t even have that much plot. It’s a lousy movie that Melissa McCarthy has written with her husband (also director here) Ben Falcone that again sheds doubt on whether in fact she’s funny.

She plays the titular character, a sloppy, obnoxious, and abrasive fast food worker who gets fired from her job for being irresponsible. She then goes into her (comedy?), throwing F-bombs, raising her middle finger, licking all the hamburger rolls, and throwing food around before storming off. When she arrives home, she sees that her husband (Nat Faxon) has had enough of her whiney crap and taken up with another woman (Toni Collette). She throws a tantrum before heading over to mom’s (Alison Janney) house two doors down.

From there Tammy hi-jacks her grandma’s car, although grandma Pearl (Susan Sarandon, given nothing besides a fake, gray haired wig to work with) refuses to give it up without coaxing Tammy into giving her a ride to see Niagara Falls, and hi-jinx ensue. Pearl is an alcoholic who always has a bottle of whiskey in her pocketbook and her choices seem to be as equally bad as Tammy. She and Tammy meet a father and son duo (Gary Cole, Mark Duplass) at a cowboy bar (it’s here where the movie thinks old people sex is both disgusting and hilarious), Tammy has a stint where she must rob fast food places to help her grandma, and they both meet up with Pearl’s lesbian cousin (Kathy Bates, really the only sincere person here) at a party, where Tammy unfunnily says she might have to fight the lesbians off with a “lesbian stick.”

If you like that joke, Tammy also has no idea who Mark Twain is and gets Neil and Lance Armstrong confused. McCarthy seems like she’s going for female Adam Sandler, an immature woman-child who’s basically anti-social to everyone she meets. It’s an act I’ve gotten tired of, and one that doesn’t even show those early glimmers of inspired stupidity like “Billy Madison” or “Happy Gilmore.” It’s just crude, it’s cursing in place of actual jokes, it’s bumbling around desperate for a laugh, and it’s angry and dull all at the same time. We’re supposed to eventually like Tammy and feel that she’s changed, although Falcone just lets the movie start out extremely irritating before lackadaisically letting it fall into being a waste of time with hardly a redeeming quality to it.

I liked “The Heat” and for all I know McCarthy does deserve her success but watching this and “Identity Thief” feels like taking a nail gun to the head, this one even more surprisingly because she wrote it. I realize that there are other factors and some people are against her or root for her because she is a woman over 100 pounds and all that but she may have a bigger problem going forward - basically she doesn’t seem like the comedy heavyweight everyone keeps saying she is.
Craig's Grade: C
Craig's Overall Grading: 340 graded movies
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