Even though Melissa McCarthy already starred in a film called Identity Thief, her new movie Tammy might as well have been called Identity Crisis. The previews of Tammy depict Melissa McCarthy as a down on her luck, obnoxious and disheveled woman who decides to take a goofy road trip with her Grandma played by Susan Sarandon. Part of that description is true. McCarthy does bring her oddball and foul humor to Tammy. The problem is McCarthy’s act, which is begins to wear thin and doesn’t mix well with the real family drama that is happening in Tammy.
Tammy‘s biggest flaw is the main character, herself. Tammy is rude, foul and downright unlikable. You feel next to zero pity for her which makes her character hard to root for. You just don’t care what happens to her. I have a feeling this was a much more serious film on paper, which was written by McCarthy and directed by her husband Ben Falcone. What I assumed happened was Warner Brothers told her to “Melissa McCarthy” it up and you are left with a film where the parts don’t match up. You can’t have one scene where you’re worried about Grandma’s diabetes directly followed with a scene of a goofy restaurant robbery. Everything just seems so out of place.
The one saving grace of Tammy is the performance of Susan Sarandon as Tammy’s bored grandma, Pearl who wants some adventure. To be honest, the first 20 minutes of Tammy are pretty awful until Sarandon’s character enters the picture. Pearl is a true depiction of many elderly people who are stuck in the prison that is their grown children’s home. Sarandon gives a funny, sweet and at times, heartbreaking performance as Tammy’s wild grandma who has plenty of issues of her own. If it wasn’t for Sarandon’s realism and the fact that I just saw Transformers: Age of Extinction last week, Tammy could have won the prize most disastrous film of the summer. Also, Kathy Bates showing up never hurts any film in my biased eyes.
Melissa McCarthy is the reigning queen of comedy, but her time could be cut short if she continues the same old act over and over again. The Oscar nominee should ask Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell how playing the same character in every movie worked out for them with audiences over the long haul. Sooner or later the act is going to become stale and your movies will flop. I know there is a great actress inside Melissa McCarthy, she just needs to drop the obnoxious gimmick and try a role with real depth. It’s a shame Tammy wasn’t the film it was meant to be. We could have had a chance to see McCarthy show off her human side.
Overall, I give Tammy 2 out of 4 stars.
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