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Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) - Review

Tammy

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

MELISSA McCarthy may have enjoyed phenomenal success playing foul-mouthed ladies whose ballsy exterior belies a fragile exterior but the joke is beginning to wear extremely thin.

Tammy, her latest, is a star vehicle co-penned by herself and real-life husband Ben Falcone that’s designed to extend her range. But by wading a little too heavily into familiar water along the way, the film ultimately drowns.

McCarthy plays the eponymous Tammy as she loses her job and discovers her husband is having an affair on the same day, prompting her to take off on a road trip with her alcoholic and promiscuous grandmother (Susan Sarandon) in tow.

En route, the mis-matched travel buddies get into all sorts of trouble, while learning valuable life lessons in the process. It’s a plot that’s been done on countless occasions and one – sadly – that McCarthy and Falcone (who also directs and co-stars as her boss) are content to let go through the motions.

It’s a creative decision made all the more disappointing by the presence of a strong support cast (including Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd and Mark Duplass) that suggests something more ambitious.

However, the film sets it’s stall out early by relying on McCarthy’s foul-mouthed shtick to dish out quickly tiresome tirades to her boss and husband, before belatedly finding the sensitivity inside that’s supposed to enable audiences to warm to her. Alas, only diehard McCarthy loyalists will be able to by that point.

Worse still, the film’s tone shifts unevenly between vulgar and/or crass and overly mawkish while struggling to convince on most levels – the central relationship between Tammy and her grandmother seldom convinces, much less the unlikely romance that blossoms between her and the son of one of her grandma’s conquests.

The screenplay also feels lazy in that there’s no real reason given for why Tammy had become the woman she starts the film being, merely fuelling the suspicion that this was done for McCarthy’s ease.

Unfortunately, it’s audiences that will ultimately feel short-changed by the ill-conceived mess that results.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 96mins
UK Release Date: July 4, 2014