Tammy (2014) Directed by Ben Falcone. With Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Alison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass and Dan Ackroyd.
I love road movies. I enjoy a good comedy too, and I think Melissa McCarthy is one of the funniest ladies around at the moment. So, for me, a film co-written and starring McCarthy, who goes on a road trip with one of my favourite actresses, Susan Sarandon, is so stacked in favour of my enjoyment, that carpal-tunnel syndrome ought to be induced from ticking all the boxes.
Directed by Ben Falcone, who co-writes with McCarthy, Tammy is about a woman, who, when he meet her, is getting fired from her job in a fast-food restaurant. It’s the funniest scene in the entire film (and it’s not that funny), from which point, it goes downhill faster than you can say “tumbleweed“, seemingly without an idea that it isn’t in the slightest bit amusing . From there, Tammy hits the road with her crazy grandma, played by Sarandon – Thelma & Louise has more genuine laughs, and is without doubt more uplifting.
You only have the glance at the names involved to appreciate how surprising it is to find so much vacant space, which can largely be attributed to a script that plays like a rough first draft. Furthermore, what’s odd, is that McCarthy worked closely with her director here, in terms of writing and performance, and that what they conjure is so flat and desperately unfunny, that you begin to feel sorry for them.
It’s with a heavy heart that I say it, but Tammy squanders the talents of all involved and is a huge mis-fire for McCarthy, whose reputation thus far undoubtedly attracted many of the players to take part. Sarandon’s role is a borderline embarrassment, and the piece has absolutely no rhythm. When reliable old faces like Kathy Bates and Dan Ackroyd show up, it only serves to make you feel bad for McCarthy, whose talent isn’t in dispute, it’s just that we’re used to laughing with her because of her intellect as a comedienne, not at her because she’s an overweight buffoon. The movie expects us to do the latter. 1.5/5