Editor’s Note: Tammy is out in theatres now!
Melissa McCarthy has created quite the career niche for herself. From her success with Bridesmaids to her role in The Heat, the actress has played characters that are lost in their own delusions, much to the chagrin of their straight-laced counterparts. She is the wisecracker and the lovable goof, but McCarthy’s new film, Tammy, is a sign that these repetitive characters are losing their steam.
She is the wisecracker and the lovable goof, but McCarthy’s new film, Tammy, is a sign that these repetitive characters are losing their steam.
Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) is having the worst day imaginable. Not only does she hit a deer, total her car, and lose her job at Topper Jacks, but she also catches her husband having an affair with the neighbor (er…she catches them eating food, but the food is merely a euphemism for their adulterous ways). Determined to show her husband and former employer that she is a better person, Tammy does what any rational person would do: drive to Niagara Falls with her grandma, Pearl (Susan Sarandon). Their trip is marked by drunken stupors, stints in jail, dancing, robberies, and a lesbian barbeque. All the while, Tammy learns the meaning of family and even catches the eye of the introverted Bobby (Mark Duplass).
The term “hot mess” perfectly encapsulates the territory that McCarthy (also credited as the screenwriter and producer) and her husband, Ben Falcone (the director, actor, and co-screenwriter), tackle. The film explores various genres and characters, but it can never make up its mind about what it is trying to accomplish. The characters slur their way through sobering moments, often times resulting in a slapstick situation. They never truly tackle their problems nor say/do anything that is funny, creating a film that fails as both a drama and a comedy.
The term ‘hot mess’ perfectly encapsulates the territory that McCarthy…and her husband, Ben Falcone (the director, actor, and co-screenwriter), tackle.
Essentially, Tammy is the result of too many ideas being put into the pot: it is a road movie mixed with a melodrama, wrapped in an ugly duckling story, seasoned with a rom-com, and served with images of lesbians worshiping Vikings. I can say (without hesitation) that I had a fun time watching this train wreck, mainly because I love watching terrible movies. But even I can distinguish my personal views and camp sensibility from my (somewhat) objective analysis.
Tammy is a bad movie. Period. The film tries its best to hold itself together, but it suffers from severe attention deficit disorder. It goes from one extreme to another, and viewers are unable to gain their bearings and enjoy the film. Hopefully this was a momentary lapse in judgment on McCarthy’s part, but her heavy involvement in this project reveals that she did more than just act in the film. Well, at least Susan Sarandon was somewhat enjoyable, but even she can’t salvage this sinking ship.
For those who love trashy movies, Tammy will be a hoot. For those who like good cinema, Tammy will be just another forgettable summer film.