Melissa McCarthy once again graces our screens, playing the title role in Tammy. This role follows her niche of funny, overweight, female characters that are often without aim and purpose. While it may be time for McCarthy to start expanding into other roles, this film is good if you are just after a good time, where you can enjoy yourself without having to ponder the film’s deeper implications.
The film begins with Tammy, a clear mess. She is unkempt, drives a ragged car, and has a lousy job. After turning up late to work, she is fired, and arrives home early to find her husband (Nat Faxon) treating their neighbour (Toni Collette) to a romantic dinner. Tammy is furious, grabs her property, and goes two houses down the street to her mother (Allison Janney) and grandmother ‘Grandma Pearl’ (Susan Sarandon). When Tammy realises Grandma Pearl has the financial means for a road trip adventure, the two set-off. What follows is a course of mis-adventures, robberies, and arrests. Will Tammy find a way to turn her life around, or is the film destined to end like Thelma and Louise (1991)?
Over the last few years, Melissa McCarthy has become a household name. She has been apart of hit films – such as Bridesmaids – and has continued in this character niche with The Heat, Identity Theft, and now Tammy. While it would be good to see her in a truly serious role, it makes sense for her to follow her previous success. It is only by this previous success that McCarthy and her producer/first-time director/co-writer husband could make such a self-appeasing film with well-known guest stars. Susan Sarandon is also great in this film. Playing the unorthodox, alcoholic, grandmother is not a role we often see her in, but she plays it convincingly. Guest stars include Allison Janney, Toni Collette, and Dan Aykroyd, though not all are in it for long.
This is not the first film to put two characters in a car and see what they discover about their lives. It has been done before, however Tammy still manages to entertain. Through the rising crises and the close confines of the car, the character’s progressions are expedited, and was planned and written beautifully in the script.
The element of swearing and adult-themes, while growing more common in films of this nature, still detracted from some of the enjoyment. Take for example the television show Roseanne (1988-1997). It wasn’t necessary to include lewdness and swearing to create characters much the same as in this film.
Unfortunately, despite all of the film’s positive aspects, there are more negative reviews than positive ones. The jokes are obvious – particularly an over-weight American robbing a fast-food restaurant – and critics are wanting fresher content. However, the response from cinema-goers has been positive.
Tammy is McCarthy doing what she does best, and there is no doubt her legion of fans will love her in this.
Reviewed by Michelle Sommerville, CinemaParadiso.co.uk