‘Tammy’ Movie Review – A Step Back
Hollywood goes through trends, multiple trends really. Putting aside some of the obvious ones, like zombies and vampires, we could almost count star Melissa McCarthy as a trend herself. After her breakout role in 2011’s comedy Bridesmaids, she became a hot commodity. Since then, she’s appeared in This is 40 and The Hangover: Part III, but more importantly, she was front-and-center in Identity Thief and The Heat. McCarthy is a star because she’s unassuming and brash at the same time. The problem is the characteristics are starting to become a cliché and McCarthy is feeling the heat (no pun intended) more in this week’s release of Tammy.
From the start, Tammy (McCarthy) is having a bad day. On her way to her crappy job, where she’s managed by her crappy boss (Ben Falcone), in her crappy car, her day completely unravels. The mess continues after she’s fired and finds her husband (Nat Faxon) cheating on her. The day seemingly couldn’t get any worse, so Tammy turns to her grandma (Susan Sarandon) as an escape.
The comedy relies on their ensuing road trip that sees them acting like immature adults while deflecting their real problems.
I get it. It’s a comedy, so the situations (which include a jet-skiing accident, a robbery, and a lesbian-only 4th of July party) are absurd on purpose. They’re trying to be funny. On the surface, and certainly within the script (that McCarty co-wrote with Falcone, her husband), these seemed like they would be funny.
But, they weren’t. Tammy, both the movie and the character, miss on practically every joke. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of McCarthy. I’m also a fan of jokes that are set-up well and characters that are legitimately funny.
The closest we get to that is Becky (Sarah Baker), one of the fast-food employees. Becky is about the only interesting side character – or character at all. Unfortunately, Bobby (Mark Duplass) is the exact opposite of interesting.
I actually point to Bridesmaids as part of the reason this is such a disappointing turn for both McCarthy and Hollywood as a whole. Before Bridesmaids, finding a comedy led by women that was actually good was very difficult. This is especially true when you think about big studio films.
It’s a problem that all of Hollywood is dealing with, not just comedies, because women are hugely underrepresented. When a movie with a strong leading lady (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hunger Games films, and etc.) works, it shows signs of improvement within the industry. Tammy is about the opposite of Bridesmaids, though, because the women characters are paperthin.
I don’t blame Melissa McCarthy completely for riding her hotstreak. Hollywood is a fickle place, and you’ve got to do what you can while you’re the “in” commodity. However, I can partially blame her for how flat Tammy feels because she had a hand in the script (and thus, her character). I wish I could’ve enjoyed the movie but when a comedy isn’t funny, it makes it very difficult.
Tammy released today in wide release; therefore, it should be playing near you!
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