I am not mad, Melissa, just bitterly disappointed. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, that Melissa McCarthy’s in-your-face, overbearing style of comedy was going to fall flat on its face. She was the best thing about Bridesmaids in a limited role, whilst she was also funny in the buddy cop flick, The Heat, but the funny woman’s new comedy, Tammy, is just a complete and utter mess.
Directed by her husband, Ben Falcone – the air marshal from Bridesmaids -McCarthy also co-wrote this torrid affair that features Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates and Allison Janney amongst other well-known faces. Tammy (McCarthy) is a bit of a mess. Sacked from her job at a fast-food joint, to then come home and find her husband is having it off with a neighbour, is a pretty crummy day in anyone’s book. Disillusioned with life, the disgruntled loudmouth hits the road with her beer swigging Grandmother, Pearl (Sarandon), in search of a new start.
The biggest problem with Falcone’s film, other than it is simply unfunny, is that it is so very unbalanced in both tone and spirit. From stupid, vulgar and childish one minute, to surprisingly sweet and sentimental the next, it gives you a headache just thinking about what the director is aiming for. The humour, given the cast and talent, is woefully short on quality. In fact, the funniest sequence – the robbery – is in the trailer, so if you though that was mediocre, boy, it does not get any better! There is no big hitting joke, no show stealing gag, just a long line of mumbling, swear-filled rants about how bad their lives are.
Sarandon, who we are under the impression is an ill, frail, 70-something Grandma, can in fact party harder than most people in their 20’s. Despite this wholly unbelievable character, she is, along with the ever charismatic Kathy Bates, one of the only bright sparks in a patchy piece of work. Bates, who plays Sarandon’s on-screen cousin, Lenore, invites the pair to a ‘lesbian 4th July party’ – one of the most random scenes of the film – but is, as ever, a fantastic screen presence, and it is a real shame we did not get to see more of her. Dan Akyroyd also makes a late cameo appearance as Tammy’s Dad, Don, and is as funny in two minutes of screen time as McCarthy is in 90 minutes – a sad, but true indictment of a talents most disappointing performance to date.
For comparisons sake, and to give you a real sense of just how awful this is, I can confirm that Tammy is worse than the last family-based road trip comedy to hit our screens – 2012’s The Guilt Trip, starring Seth Rogen and Babra Streisand – and that takes some real doing. Whether it is the ropy storyline, the weak dialogue or the unintelligent jokes, this is just one big let down from start to finish. We expect better.