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Review: Tammy

Tammy
07.01.2014
3 10

PLOT: After her entire life ruined in the span of a few hours, former fast food employee Tammy decides on a whim to leave her town, and entire life, behind. However, she's forced to take her alcoholic grandmother along for the ride.

REVIEW: I'm genuinely unsure how to feel about Melissa McCarthy at this point. For a little while there, I thought her over-the-top pratfalls and crude style of sloppy, self-deprecating humor were thrust upon her and she just ran with it. She's seizing the moment, and she'll take what the writers of IDENTITY THIEF and THE HEAT will give her. But watching TAMMY, which was written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone (who also directed), I started to wonder if perhaps it's time for her to step back and reassess her on-screen legacy. For TAMMY presents McCarthy in the most unflattering light yet, and though I'm sure the actress and her husband feel they are playing to her strengths with Tammy's aggressively ridiculous behavior, the movie eventually feels like a forum to showcase her worst instincts.

For starters, Tammy is thoroughly dumb, and I'm not saying that to be mean: she is a person who doesn't recognize the names of Neil Armstrong or Mark Twain, and the movie goes out of its way to highlight her ignorance. It's not the kind of churlish but good-hearted naiveté that made McCarthy memorable in BRIDESMAIDS; this is a woman who should not be allowed to drive a car. She behaves loudly and badly, displaying zero awareness when it comes to acceptable social behavior. McCarthy does this stuff "well," I suppose you could say. Certainly, she sells every obnoxious line, every bizarre dance move, every head-slam and accident. But it's all so damn jarring. I don't necessarily expect people in comedies to act believably, but McCarthy's antics are so out of control the reality of every sequence is shattered when she goes to work on it.

In any case, TAMMY doesn't have much of a plot; it's more of an excuse for a road trip scenario: Tammy has just crashed her car, been fired from her fast food job (of course she stuffs cheeseburgers in her pockets before storming off), and been cheated on by her husband (Nat Faxon). Traumatized, she decides to get in the car and drive off, to no place in particular. But having no car, she's forced to take her grandmother's (Susan Sarandon), who is desperate to leave her daughter's (Allison Janney) house. And that's about it, really. Just two people deciding to drive off somewhere. At one point they get arrested. They bicker a lot, but they also share some tender moments and avert a few tragedies.

TAMMY is the kind of comedy that is full-bore R-rated silliness for most of its running time, but then gets unexpectedly sad when you least expect it; this makes it feel disingenuous more than anything else. The movie also pulls a turnaround toward the end with Tammy herself, as she's suddenly tidying herself up and acting like a normal human being. That such a transformation would occur in such a short amount of time is questionable, but it's also a dishonest move on the film's part: we were asked to love Tammy for who she was, and now she's changing for "the better"?

The movie is made tolerable by a series of enjoyable supporting performances, starting with Sarandon, as the boozy, borderline-crazy grandmother who causes just as much of a scene wherever she goes as Tammy does. Sarandon ably steals the show from McCarthy and has a handful of memorable moments - even if the character is a rather basic "mouthy old lady" caricature that has been employed by countless comedies. Kathy Bates has a good turn as Sarandon's cousin, a lesbian with a penchant for blowing things up. Gary Cole and Mark Duplass (of all people) turn up in likable small parts as Tammy and her grandmother's prospective love interests, respectively.

I can't, for whatever reason, help but feel slightly bad for McCarthy as I watch her flail about the screen. It's odd that McCarthy and Falcone, having this powerful opportunity to give her a starring vehicle, have chosen so many lowbrow jokes that often feel like low blows to the comedienne. Why now showcase another aspect of her personality as opposed to the one we've already seen three or four times already? And why does she keep playing into this version of herself when it's so uncomplimentary?

Source: JoBlo.com

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11:40AM on 07/02/2014
If 'Tammy' makes more money than 'Edge of Tomorrow', then I'm going to lose all faith in humanity.
If 'Tammy' makes more money than 'Edge of Tomorrow', then I'm going to lose all faith in humanity.
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8:23PM on 07/01/2014

Sad State Of Affairs

It's sad that THIS is the big July 4th movie. Stay tuned for the inevitable Melissa McCarthy & Kevin Hart film next summer.
It's sad that THIS is the big July 4th movie. Stay tuned for the inevitable Melissa McCarthy & Kevin Hart film next summer.
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6:44PM on 07/01/2014
You know it's a bad movie when you see all the trailers and TV spots and still don't know what it's supposed to be about. Also, Susan Sarandon would be a good candidate for Movie Jail since this is probably the 100th stinker she's been in.
You know it's a bad movie when you see all the trailers and TV spots and still don't know what it's supposed to be about. Also, Susan Sarandon would be a good candidate for Movie Jail since this is probably the 100th stinker she's been in.
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5:27PM on 07/01/2014
She wore out her welcome with me a loong time ago. She's a one-trick pony who is way more annoying than she is (if at all) funny, and she basically recycles the same character over and over. Cant wait till she just stops.
She wore out her welcome with me a loong time ago. She's a one-trick pony who is way more annoying than she is (if at all) funny, and she basically recycles the same character over and over. Cant wait till she just stops.
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+1
5:11PM on 07/01/2014

Can't stand her.

So this isn't much of a surprise. She could be the sweetest human being on the planet for all I know but I'm referring to her characters. She always plays the same one. Her shtick is just so tired and so "Been there. Done that." I saw it in Bridesmaids, I don't need to see it in every movie she does for the rest of her sad career.
So this isn't much of a surprise. She could be the sweetest human being on the planet for all I know but I'm referring to her characters. She always plays the same one. Her shtick is just so tired and so "Been there. Done that." I saw it in Bridesmaids, I don't need to see it in every movie she does for the rest of her sad career.
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4:33PM on 07/01/2014

Others don't like her "acting"? I thought I was alone!

Man, it's a relief. I keep hearing from everywhere about how she's the bread and butter of funny. I just find her loud, obnoxious and extremely UNfunny.
Man, it's a relief. I keep hearing from everywhere about how she's the bread and butter of funny. I just find her loud, obnoxious and extremely UNfunny.
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4:27PM on 07/01/2014

Seriously?

Not that I think this movie looked good in any way, I am a bit taken aback by the attitude that she is demeaning herself playing obnoxious, fat, loud a'hole characters. I have grown up watching male actors do this kind of crap all the time, no one calls them out for it. Again, not saying I think there is no validity to her being a one note comedian or actress, but she is the one taking these jobs. Just like no one ever told Chris Farley he plays too amny fat stupid characters, same goes for
Not that I think this movie looked good in any way, I am a bit taken aback by the attitude that she is demeaning herself playing obnoxious, fat, loud a'hole characters. I have grown up watching male actors do this kind of crap all the time, no one calls them out for it. Again, not saying I think there is no validity to her being a one note comedian or actress, but she is the one taking these jobs. Just like no one ever told Chris Farley he plays too amny fat stupid characters, same goes for guys like Zach Galifianakis
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4:11PM on 07/01/2014

Flaming out like Chris Farley

Couldn't agree more.
Couldn't agree more.
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3:46PM on 07/01/2014

I Like Her

I enjoy her shtick & have zero complaints
I enjoy her shtick & have zero complaints
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2:03PM on 07/01/2014
Melissa McCarthy is terrible.
Melissa McCarthy is terrible.
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+1
12:53PM on 07/01/2014
So mark duplass is playing susan Sarandon's love-interest? That's not backwards? And the ages of the moms are not consistent. I guess Tammy is suppose to be like late 20s? I guess that's the white trash thing
So mark duplass is playing susan Sarandon's love-interest? That's not backwards? And the ages of the moms are not consistent. I guess Tammy is suppose to be like late 20s? I guess that's the white trash thing
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+2
12:21PM on 07/01/2014

Nice review

I liked her in Bridesmaids as that was my first time to ever see her and I thought her character was hilarious. I ended up seeing her again in Identity Thief, mainly because I see everything Jason Bateman is in. I hated her so much in that movie I almost walked out. Similar situation as this one seems to be. She was a worthless character and in that one a dishonest person who steals from people and ruins lives. Yet, supposedly "cleans" herself up and redeems herself over a couple days' car
I liked her in Bridesmaids as that was my first time to ever see her and I thought her character was hilarious. I ended up seeing her again in Identity Thief, mainly because I see everything Jason Bateman is in. I hated her so much in that movie I almost walked out. Similar situation as this one seems to be. She was a worthless character and in that one a dishonest person who steals from people and ruins lives. Yet, supposedly "cleans" herself up and redeems herself over a couple days' car ride. I'll never watch a movie she's starring in again. Nothing funny about these characters, she's obnoxious.
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+3
11:50AM on 07/01/2014
Why actually try to be witty and original when the masses just want broad and stupid?
Why actually try to be witty and original when the masses just want broad and stupid?
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12:55PM on 07/01/2014
Bingo.
Bingo.
11:45AM on 07/01/2014
What? this movie was bad? but it looks so good!!

ok all kidding aside, this movie looked like garbage since the first trailer premiered. I had to question my friendship with someone who said they wanted to see it . It's a shame really because i think Melissa McCarthy is a very talented actress. She is great on "Mike and Molly" and did a good job in "Bridesmaids" and on
"SNL". But ever since Bridesmaids, she's just played the same white-trash character over and over again. and each time
What? this movie was bad? but it looks so good!!

ok all kidding aside, this movie looked like garbage since the first trailer premiered. I had to question my friendship with someone who said they wanted to see it . It's a shame really because i think Melissa McCarthy is a very talented actress. She is great on "Mike and Molly" and did a good job in "Bridesmaids" and on
"SNL". But ever since Bridesmaids, she's just played the same white-trash character over and over again. and each time getting progressively dumber. "Identity Thief", "The Heat", "Hangover 3" and now "Tammy" are all dumb characters. Its a poor reflection of our society that a heavy set white trash woman is the hero. We are expected to laugh at the same dumb joke over and over again.

I really hope she starts doing better movies. Ones where her weight is not used as a prop, where she can tell jokes without being buried in walmart make-up. Come on McCarthy, you're better than this
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11:30AM on 07/01/2014

Movie looks like her worst film yet.

I am on the edge with MM, I mean on one hand her improv is genius. On the other, she plays the same character in every movie just at different intelligence levels. She is good at being dumb. Then I look back at Chris Farely who was in the same boat. He played the same guy but he never went full retard. This looks like Melissa went full retard in this movie and that will hurt the review scores.

I just saw 22 Jump St and that was hysterical. I was hoping this would surprise me with good
I am on the edge with MM, I mean on one hand her improv is genius. On the other, she plays the same character in every movie just at different intelligence levels. She is good at being dumb. Then I look back at Chris Farely who was in the same boat. He played the same guy but he never went full retard. This looks like Melissa went full retard in this movie and that will hurt the review scores.

I just saw 22 Jump St and that was hysterical. I was hoping this would surprise me with good reviews but it looks like 22 JS will be the best comedy of the year (unless Dumb and Dumber To is a hit)
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12:59PM on 07/01/2014
I think most of Chris' movies had heart, or his character did. So David Spade or whoever eventually realized he tried to do the right thing

And I have no reason to really think dumb and dumberer 2 will be any good. They had genius posters of the old suits. But I'm not even sure how the original holds up, and everyone involved has only done mediocre to terrible comedy lately. That last trailer looked terrible.
I think most of Chris' movies had heart, or his character did. So David Spade or whoever eventually realized he tried to do the right thing

And I have no reason to really think dumb and dumberer 2 will be any good. They had genius posters of the old suits. But I'm not even sure how the original holds up, and everyone involved has only done mediocre to terrible comedy lately. That last trailer looked terrible.
11:21AM on 07/01/2014
And what if Melissa McCarthy played a different character? That's a huge risk. Tammy is tracking to open to over $20MM and end its domestic run with $90-105MM. If she can have 3 back to back starring vehicles earn over $100MM each and one of them is, what I presume to be a low-budget indie that she wrote, directed and produced? I think Melissa McCarthy is cashing in. Legacy? Nobody stays on top forever. Nobody. So she's making her money now. Good for her.
And what if Melissa McCarthy played a different character? That's a huge risk. Tammy is tracking to open to over $20MM and end its domestic run with $90-105MM. If she can have 3 back to back starring vehicles earn over $100MM each and one of them is, what I presume to be a low-budget indie that she wrote, directed and produced? I think Melissa McCarthy is cashing in. Legacy? Nobody stays on top forever. Nobody. So she's making her money now. Good for her.
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1:07PM on 07/01/2014
Yeah. I also don't think she played the same character in the heat. She was brass, and white trash, but she wasn't stupid and knew what she's doing. The fact of the matter is, she's really fat. She can be typecast and, as of now, make good $ making fun of that. There aren't many good female characters in Hollywood period. She's at a disadvantage on most things that's not pretty girlfriend or superhero. And we don't know how good of an actress she really is. Maybe she'll play like a
Yeah. I also don't think she played the same character in the heat. She was brass, and white trash, but she wasn't stupid and knew what she's doing. The fact of the matter is, she's really fat. She can be typecast and, as of now, make good $ making fun of that. There aren't many good female characters in Hollywood period. She's at a disadvantage on most things that's not pretty girlfriend or superhero. And we don't know how good of an actress she really is. Maybe she'll play like a lawyer or something, but if she changes it up it'll be an indie movie where she hates herself bc she's fat and possibly go from there. Not to be mean but look at the recent big female roles, and we aren't even sure she can act, but she's not gonna get a movie like gravity, not American hustle. She's not gonna be a love interest. She might as well do what she can.
1:47PM on 07/01/2014
Like, if I am Melissa McCarthy and her management, I ask myself: Does anybody WANT to see me be serious? What do people want to see me do? Do people really get judgmental about the Rock playing a cocky, angry guy who kills people in every single one of his movies? Of course not. But they do for McCarthy. And I admit she's absolutely just doing a female version of Chris Farley for a new generation with a different comedic sensibility, but it's still the same niche/function being filled.

The
Like, if I am Melissa McCarthy and her management, I ask myself: Does anybody WANT to see me be serious? What do people want to see me do? Do people really get judgmental about the Rock playing a cocky, angry guy who kills people in every single one of his movies? Of course not. But they do for McCarthy. And I admit she's absolutely just doing a female version of Chris Farley for a new generation with a different comedic sensibility, but it's still the same niche/function being filled.

The thing is- most of her jokes having nothing to do with being fat. They have to do with being socially unaware/awkward. So I don't think it's simply that she's fat so she's playing "fat roles" (zing) It's that she's found a niche with a certain type of dumb comedy/humor and she's milking the hell out of it, which is both guaranteeing box office success and dooming her to critical drubbings.

Basically I think she'll enter the $15MM club pretty soon, make a series of maybe 5 or 10 interchangeable silly comedies until she's no longer relevant and then she'll reinvent herself. The female Adam Sandler, basically.
12:52PM on 07/04/2014
I will eat my shoe if it makes as much as you say it will....Tammy WILL NOT make more than 40mil.
I will eat my shoe if it makes as much as you say it will....Tammy WILL NOT make more than 40mil.
11:16AM on 07/01/2014
Yeah, this one just looked plain annoying. If ever a live-action Wonder Woman movie gets off the ground though, I think Melissa McCarthy would make a decent Etta Candy.
Yeah, this one just looked plain annoying. If ever a live-action Wonder Woman movie gets off the ground though, I think Melissa McCarthy would make a decent Etta Candy.
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