Rated: R for language including sexual references. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: July 2, 2014 Released by: Warner Brothers
This is Melissa McCarthy's film. With her husband Ben Falcone she wrote the script which is established for the personality she has become on film
McCarthy's Tammy is a looser, in the opening scenes she wreaks her car, gets to work at Topper Jack's fast food restaurant and is fired by boss Keith Morgan played by her real life husband Ben. Back at home her film husband is having an affair with Missi (Tony Collette). Her mom played by Alison Janney is not sympathetic and basically tells her to get her act together. The argument between the two leads Tammy to head on a road trip to Niagara Falls with grandma, Pearl played wonderfully by Susan Sarandon.
McCarthy works at fitting in a world that is not receptive to her. Sarandon pulls her back from each misadventure which is what grandmothers do in life. But McCarthy's Tammy is out of control, she destroys a jet ski which grandma is forced to buy, expending about two-thirds of their bank role. She rips the sides of her grandmother's Cadillac while lost in the woods after a drunken evening. McCarthy works at making her character acceptable, but that doesn't work, she falls on each side of being comical or being pitiful. Sarandon has the better part, she is a naughty older woman who continues to attract guys at a bar, while Tammy embarrasses herself when guys show no interest as she presents herself as available.
A side adventure with Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh, wealthy lesbians who invite Tammy and Pearl (Sarandon) to a gala party at their mansion on a lake. The party is fine but it all is situated so that a straight guy can connect with McCarthy.
McCarthy was a delightful character on the Gilmore Girls a well written and nicely performed TV series, she was not the lead but an important character in a very credible series basically about women.
Tammy's adventure is either too much or not enough, McCarthy has a solid following but it probably works better when she is part of a group like an adjective in a sentence, she can make it better but she doesn't work out as well in the lead. Abbot and Costello made many films, they were most enjoyable as part of a film, not when they were the center of the plot. McCarthy has a-lot of good will in her audience. Choosing the correct balance is important for her to continue to be popular and someone we want to watch. She might even want to attempt a serious supporting role where she could truly display her performing talent.