I am not even sure what I was truly expecting when I walked into Tammy, the newest film staring Melissa McCarthy. Judging by the previews I had seen I was thinking something along the lines of an Adam Sandler type “comedy”. I can say for sure what I was not expecting was a film as vulnerable and sweet as the one we got. I am not saying that Tammy is a good movie. It has too many silly scenes that don’t really fit with the rest of the film, but it is certainly not awful by any means. I believe that the regular film going community may be pleasantly surprised by this film.
The film is basically about Tammy (Melissa McCarthy), a 30 something lady who doesn’t have a clear direction in life. When we first see her she is driving to work and hits a deer, but doesn’t kill it. This event causes her to be late for her job at the Fast Food restaurant and get fired. When she arrives home early she finds that her husband is cheating on her with another women. She goes to her mothers house and gets little support from her, but her Grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon), a foul mouthed alcoholic, is willing to go on a road trip with Tammy. They decided to head to Niagara Falls and your basic road trip comedy begins.
There were many times were I thought I had Tammy figured out and I thought it is gonna be a nasty, mean spirited film and it does the opposite of what I was expecting.
For instance I was sure the Grandmother was going to just belittle Tammy at every turn (the trailers gave me reason to believe this, though many scenes are not in the movie), but it is very clear, right away that she loves Tammy with all her heart and only wants to protect her, from the world. Or take the scene in the bar, were Pearl gets picked up by an older gentleman who is at the bar with his son. I was fully expecting the son to find Tammy rude and obnoxious, yet he finds her funny and charming.
Tammy is full of little scenes like that which for me was a pleasant surprise. Sandler take note!
The other element of Tammy that works so well is McCarthy herself, who gives a really solid performance here. She doesn’t go over the top as Tammy, to the point that you hate her character. When she comes home to find her husband cheating (he is making a diner for his mistress), you genuinely get the feeling that her heart is broken. As she exits and says to her husband, “You never once cooked for me. And it smells delicious,” you truly feel bad for her.
McCarthy is a very talented actress and she has so far in most of her roles, really found a balance to keep her characters from being obnoxious.
Unfortunately for Tammy it has one too many over the top scene, that really feels out of place in this film.
Take the scene from the original trailer, were Tammy robs a fast food restaurant. It just feels like it was wedged in there for no reason, other then to make some cruel jokes at Tammy’s expense and it is painfully unfunny. Another scene late in the movie when Tammy and Pearl meet up with Kathy Bates and Bates gives Tammy a speech that is ripped right out of the movie cliche hand book. Yet in this film it really sticks out and gets the wrong kind of reaction.
I guess the major downfall with Tammy is that, it is suppose to be a comedy and to be honestly I didn’t really laugh that much. It honestly felt like it should have been a road trip drama and any scene that is really going for he big laughs, fails miserably and ends up taking away from what could have been a nice buddy movie.
I applaud the movie for not being cruel and being genuinely sweet in nature and I like McCarthy’s performance a lot. Based on those tings alone I am almost tempted to recommend this movie, but I simply can’t based on the fact that as a comedy, I didn’t laugh very much.
That is kind of a let down.