Rotten Tomatoes: 23% (44% Audience)
‘Murrica. What did you do this holiday weekend?
YUP. I saw Tammy. I laughed a lot, too. I’ll be damned if Melissa McCarthy doesn’t just crack me up. The woman is a brilliant physical comedian, for sure, and also has stupendous comedic timing and delivery. This movie is nothing special. Though it is worth noting Tammy, in development for some time, was written by McCarthy & her husband Ben Falcone – who also directed, and was eventually backed and produced by Will Ferrell/Adam McKay’s ‘Gary Sanchez Productions’ production company. This film is not quite up to some other dumb-fun classics, but it is easy to see how a movie like Tammy, amusing despite its flaws & mediocrity in some areas, might be a jumping off point for future hilarity.
Should I pay to see it?
I will say no. There is little doubt the movie will jump to various TV stations both cable and otherwise in the future and little about the film would warrant shelling out your dollars to see it in a theater. This does not mean, despite those poor ratings, I see Tammy as a movie without merit. Take a look at the cast, first of all – some very funny people get to do their thing and ham it up appropriately.
Susan Sarandon surprised me with her character’s sometimes oft-putting humor and Kathy Bates steals her scenes playing a tweaked version of Jo Bennett from the Office (This clip should explain a bit without explaining). For a first-time director, Falcone certainly drummed up a very entertaining cast. They play off one another splendidly, sometimes (some clear Ferrell-McKay adlibbing influence in places). As is the case so often in comedies like this, the overall movie is uneven. Tammy and her supporting characters are cartoonish, somewhat necessarily, and some scenes do not hit home the way they are intended to. Credit where credit is due, though. There were some times I found myself laughing very, very hard. You may not be sure at points whether you are rooting for or pitying characters, but a funny line is a funny line.
Could I watch it with a date?
As summer movies go, you could do much worse for a date. So long as the date in question does not mind swearing, Tammy is actually a sort of sweet movie. Part of the sweet nature stems from the Wife-Husband pair of McCarthy and Falcone and their great chemistry together in scenes, for one (Tammy’s firing scene here will likely be a Hall of Fame-worthy blooper reel entry), and the pair’s general affability in real life eases its way into the script as well. However the hedging of sweetness and humor contributes to a story that can feel both uneven and cursory. One would understand uneven-ness a bit more if there was more to draw us in to the ‘heart’ of the characters, I suppose?
I worry I have strayed too far into snooty-critic talk there. May I remind you Tammy holds up a fast food joint with a comb, wearing a ‘Mahalo’ shirt and a bag over her head – with eyebrows? There are some genuinely funny moments in Tammy and a real attempt to have a heart, as well. Just do not expect any Oscars.
Could I watch it with my mother?
Very much so, yes. Again, the only stipulation is language. If your mother still has a swear jar, you’d squirm where many of us giggled during the movie (McCarthy has a particularly amusing delivery of exasperated f-bombs that never ceases to make me chuckle). Mark Duplass’ Bobby plays a fairly flat romantic interest (but maybe my expectations for him are merely too high), but overall the supporting cast – that strong cast – is played by familiar, solid actors. You may feel uncomfortable with some of the situations a mother/grandmother puts one in as a child but Tammy could be easily watchable with most all family members familiar with cursing. There is a goofy sweetness to the film. You may not love it, but I can all but assure you you can’t hate it – maybe I’ve lowered my standards, but as movies go these days that’s not a bad thing.
Tammy is not a great movie by any means but demonstrates the work of a powerfully funny leading lady in McCarthy, her equally game/amusing husband Falcone and leads me to believe there are more funny movies in the future for the couple. Don’t rush out to see this one in theaters but don’t hesitate if a rainstorm drives you to the cineplex or you see this pop up in the future on cable.
You could be asking the wrong guy, though. I’d watch a movie of nothing but Melissa McCarthy running away from people…