After becoming the break-out star of Bridesmaids with her puppy hoarding and sink stools, Melissa McCarthy likely had her pick of comedy projects to choose from in the years that followed. Based on the 50/50 track record of those choices, however, it’s unclear whether she squandered or took full advantage of the boost Bridesmaids offered. For every decent follow-up flick (The Heat and St. Vincent), we get a dud like Identity Thief or Tammy, and the shortcomings of the failures tend to outweigh the highlights of the successes. Case in point: Tammy, the roadtrip comedy co-written by Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone (who also directed), which fails to generate laughs at every stop and which seems to be nothing more than a bunch of poorly executed and written jokes strung together by a very loose premise.
In what might be the film’s sole funny sequence, Tammy (McCarthy) has the worst day of her life as she totals her car by hitting a deer, loses her job, and then arrives home to discover her husband loves another woman by finding him midway through a meal with another woman. That’s not a euphemism. While the piling on of circumstances is somewhat comical, what’s unfunny throughout is McCarthy’s wholly unlikable character who never once gives us a reason to suspect she’s anything other than a loud, obnoxious slob who fully deserves what’s coming to her in one form or another. In an act of desperation to get away from it all, Tammy agrees to head out on the road with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) if that’s what it takes to get out of that town (and her life). As the roadtrip progresses, so too does Tammy’s relationship with her grandmother (who is all at once a good and bad influence).
Despite all the miles they cover, the story and the laughs never go far if anywhere at all. Tammy starts out with four flat tires and try as it might to push itself down the road, it’s just dead in its tracks and so decides to just indulge in Adam Sandler-esque infantilism until the credits roll. It’s not a pretty sight, and it’s one of the more painfully unfunny comedies to come out in recent memory.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The combo pack includes the film on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a digital copy, with extras on the Blu-ray ranging from an extended cut of the film, to deleted scenes, to a Tammy roadtrip checklist, and finally a gag reel that just makes things very awkward as its clear the cast and crew were having a laugh riot making the film, but none of that translated to the actual movie.
"Tammy" is on sale November 11, 2014 and is rated R. Comedy. Directed by Ben Falcone. Written by Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone. Starring Allison Janney, Kathy Bates, Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon.