Tammy (2014)

Still feeling like crap, Rex Reed? Good.

Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) isn’t having a very good day. First of all, she hit a deer with her car while she was searching for chap-stick. Then, she gets fired from her job because she constantly shows up late and can’t ever seem to get along with her boss (Ben Falcone). And to make matters even worse, she ends up coming home to her husband (Nat Faxon) being with another woman (Toni Collette), making Tammy leave and eventually live with her mother (Allison Janney) and grandmother (Susan Sarandon). However, that’s not how Tammy wants to roll, so when she brings up the idea of moving away from her hometown and starting anew, her grandmother jumps on the opportunity to go with her; better yet, her car and money will be the reason why Tammy wants to go in the first place. So begins this road trip of sorts with Tammy and her grams, where they go to bars, drink, have fun, meet cuties, get lost in National State Parks and even get to know more about eachother than they ever did, or ever wanted to, before.

If you saw either last year’s the Heat, or Identity Thief, then trust me, you’ve seen this movie. Yes, both are Melissa McCarthy-starring films and while the former may be better than the later, there’s still a certain trend/formula going on with both of them: They consist of Melissa McCarthy doing the same damn thing, each and every time the camera is put onto her.

Susie be like, "Get me da hell out of dis car, with dat gurl".
Susie be like, “Get me da hell out of dis car, with dat gurl”.

Both highlight McCarthy as a female master of improv, where she yells, runs, falls down, and says whatever raunchy thought comes to her mind first. Sure, both movies allowed her to continue this act in different ways, but it’s still the same thing we’ve seen done before and quite frankly, no matter how charming or talented McCarthy may actually be, it’s an act that can get very stale, very quick. And that’s the exact problem with Tammy: It’s just stale. It’s hardly ever funny and it always seems to exist, solely so McCarthy can find something to riff on for more than five minutes, all to show us how much of a clever gal she is, but somehow, only wasting our time and not adding anything to the “story” this flick is actually supposed to be working.

But what makes this movie a bit more strange is that it’s not only co-written by McCarthy and her real-life husband, Ben Falcone, but it’s also actually directed by him. May not seem like much at first, but for some reason, I couldn’t get that fact out of my head.

Because see, everytime there is something funny to be had here, it almost always seems to come from McCarthy. It doesn’t matter if it’s actually humorous or not – if there’s a moment that Falcone thinks is worth a few chuckles or so, he’ll give it right to his wifey-poo where she’ll take the material and do whatever the hell she wants with it. Hasn’t stopped her before with other peeps behind the camera, so why the hell should it stop with her hubby in that position? It shouldn’t, but it totally should have because there’s hardly anything funny about this movie to begin with.

Actually, nope, scratch that: There is something funny about this movie. But it isn’t McCarthy; it isn’t Falcone; and it sure as hell isn’t our titled-character Tammy; nope, it’s actually the secret weapon to this whole thing that just almost makes it work: Susan Sarandon.

That’s right, ladies and germs, the one who absolutely steals this movie is none other than Susan Sarandon, playing Tammy’s boozing, man-eating, wild-timing Grand-mom and even though it may be weird seeing the seemingly ageless Sarandon wearing a short and grey-wig, it’s a distraction that goes away real soon. The reason being is because Sarandon is such a lovely screen-presence to watch (then again, when is she not?), you can’t help but just accept her character and love every decision she makes. Even if they are sometimes stupid and shallow, they’re just decisions of a character we like, want to like even more and know that we can trust to do the right thing at the end, whatever that may actually be.

Most of that has to do with the fact that we love Sarandon as is, but most of it also has to do with the fact that she’s the only character really worth paying attention/liking in this whole thing. Which isn’t to discredit anybody else who shows up in this movie – the supporting cast is a wide-variety of familiar-faces that all do fine with what they’re given, whether it be to be funny, or not. They all service this material to the best of their ability and it actually made me think it was such a shame to see them all packed in together for something like this.

How sweet of him to cast his own wife, in his own movie. Man after my own heart right there.
How sweet of him to cast his own wife, in his own movie. Man after my own heart right there.

But the sheer fact that Sarandon owns this movie the whole through, is definitely to discredit McCarthy and Falcone; even more importantly, McCarthy herself. I find myself really going at it with my inner-most thoughts, because while I usually like McCarthy in anything she shows up in (yes, even re-runs of Mike & Molly), I just found her so damn annoying here. Most of that has to do with the way in which she is constantly made up to just improv her ass off, every chance she gets, but most of it also has to do with the way in which Tammy is written.

First off, Tammy herself is pretty unlikable, although that’s definitely the point; she doesn’t think things through, she swears a lot, she takes advantage of those around her, and she always acts as if she’s the victim in any situation, when it is, most of the time, the completely other way around. We know that Tammy is supposed to be a likable character and that, eventually, we’re supposed to see some shading to her that’s going to make us like her more, but it hardly ever comes. Okay, it does, but only through cheesy scenes in which we see her flirt with some dude and take some trips down memory-lane with her grand-mom. That’s basically it. Everything else is up to McCarthy where she acts like a fool, knocks stuff over, curses a whole heck of a lot, and randomly acts violently for no other reason other than to draw up a laugh or two.

Maybe we’re supposed to feel lucky for having somebody as dedicated to drawing laughs out of us through self-deprivation, like McCarthy, but by now, you have to wonder how much longer is it going to go on for? I hope not for much longer, only to avoid garbage like this, but then again, judging by her upcoming projects, it seems like we’re going to have a whole lot more scenes like this. Or even worse, like this.


Consensus: Tammy is meant to be a starring-vehicle for McCarthy and the talents we’ve seen her show off more than a few times by now, but ends up being more of a showcase for the type of lovely presence Susan Sarandon brings to anything she gets involved with, and how much she can make anything better.

3 / 10 = Crapola!!

Get it! It's not a real gun!
Get it! It’s not a real gun!

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBAceShowbiz


  1. This seems really bad. The cast roster looks amazing – the presence of Sarandon, Allison Janney, and Toni Collette are enough to make me see this. Based on the previous works of McCarthy, I don’t think I’m going to expect anything different. She’s a good comedian, but maybe she should branch out her comedic chops instead of portraying the same character over again. I will definitely just wait for the DVD of this.

  2. Yup, I knew it. Melissa McCarthy is such a one-sided tape. All she does is make fat and penis jokes. Good to see there’s a community big enough to demand more movies like these jokes. Good review, though Dan!!

  3. Wasn’t sure about this one from the trailer – it being just one scene – but sounds like a let down. I liked McCarthy in This Is 40 and can’t help feeling her intense improv style is better suited to smaller roles. Hope we see something stronger from her next time.

  4. Oh god. That’s all I’m going to say because I’m tired of movies with her.. I really am.. there’s a limit and that limit is seeing McCarthy’s talent being wasted in awful comedies. I’m proud she’s getting leads but seriously, she deserves better.

  5. Haha, great review! I read the cast and thought, “If this is another “the Heat”, I’m out.” I was disappointed with Heat because Sandra’s my jam, but yeah, my second thought was, “Susan Sarandon is the ticket to this movie…” She really is a Hollywood treasure, but I’ll watch Susan in a better movie, not this one!

  6. Great review!

    I don’t think there have been many recent movies with trailers SO BAD that they actively make me want to avoid a film as much as Tammy. I like Melissa McCarthy just fine, but she needs solid material. There was nothing likable about the trailers and that seems to be reflected in the film itself according to your review.


  7. Nice review, Dan! There’s no way I’ll be seeing this. I don’t see the appeal for Melissa McCarthy at all. I think she’s overrated, and her Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids was a joke. Plus, like you said, she’s just playing the same character over and over.

    • She does play the same character over and over again, and while that can be mildly amusing, it’s too much here. Especially since the material is so thin.

  8. I’ve never seen any of Melissa McCarthy’s movies but I’ve caught most of the trailers – she looks to be playing the same character each and every time. Thanks for watching Tammy so I wouldn’t have to, Dan. 😉

  9. It always amazes me how many “stars” there are in Hollywood who have made a fortune doing nothing more than playing variations of themselves: McCarthy, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell…. I liked McCarthy in Gilmore Girls, but have avoided anything and everything she’s done since. Trailers for that Oscar-nominated role in Bridesmaids was enough to keep me away.

    Since when is taking a dump in a sink an Oscar-worthy performance?

  10. I’m not the biggest Melissa McCarthy fan (loved her in Bridesmaid, nothing else after that) but it’s disappointing to hear this flick sucks. She and her husband Falcone are SIUC alums which is in my hometown so I was hoping that it would be good. Obviously it ain’t, so that a downer man

  11. Yikes… Maybe I’ll stay away from this one. I’m happy to hear Susan Sarandon was awesome though! She is one talented lady.

    This was such an entertaining read! Really great review.

  12. Regardless of the many movie bloggers/critics I’ve read who had nothing good to say about this, I absolutely love everything Melissa McCarthy’s been in, she tends to be the one to make me crack up laughing and that’s difficult to get as I don’t find very much amusing so of course I’ll be seeing this one. That said, like many movies I probably won’t see this in theaters but will anxiously rent it when it’s released to DVD.

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