2014 / Director. Ben Falcone.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
TAMMY is a bunch of ideas thrown into a jumble and assembled into a vague narrative. Melissa McCarthy plays the film's title character. She's a down-on-her-luck woman who hits a deer with her car, loses her job and discovers her husband cheating... all in the one day. She packs her shit up and hits the road in her grandmother's car (with her grandmother onboard) and heads north without a plan. And so the movie plays out as a road trip with the two women encountering an assortment of characters along the way. As a feature length film it's not very good at all, but some of the ideas and routines are genuinely good. I like McCarthy's presence on screen. She has a wonderful ability to alternate between obnoxious, crass and sweet in the blink of an eye and she undoubtedly has a natural comedic talent. She co-wrote the film with her husband, Ben Falcone, who also directed it. The film feels like it began as a conversation on the sofa one night while watching late night tv. With a bunch of scenes that feel like sketches, the story is loosely stitched together and a whole lot of Hollywood talent have had favours called upon. The support cast is impressive and includes Susan, Sarandon, Toni Collette, Dan Aykroyd, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Kathy Bates, Nat Faxon, Allison Janney and Sandra Oh... most of whom share little more than five minutes of screen time. It's not movie I can say is very good at all but I can honestly tell you that I had a fun time watching it. Melissa McCarthey has been criticised for exploiting her limited range with an ever growing list of movies, which have her doing the same schtick. Yes it's true that she's on to a bankable routine but isn't she entitled that? The great generational comedic performers always did. She's great at what she does and the audience love her. Besides she has already shown her range in a few smaller films and will no doubt transform into a substantial and respected performer in due time. Jim Carrey did it. Steve Carell did it. Will Ferrell did it. Melissa McCarthy will do it too. TAMMY is a string of amusing bits woven into a lacklustre narrative. It's peculiar but fun.