Now, I’m a fan of Melissa McCarthy. She’s a great physical comedian, has a blunt potty mouth that makes me laugh, and has totally cute dimples that are delightfully charming. But I couldn’t help but feel like I’ve seen Tammy before, but rehashed, like leftovers from last week.
The film starts out with Tammy (McCarthy) hitting a deer with her car (don’t worry, it’s ok!), arriving late to work at a fast food joint, getting fired, and walking in on her husband having a romantic dinner with the neighbor (Toni Colette?!?!). She stomps out with a bagful of clothes, goes to her mom’s, and borrows her grandma’s car. Problem is, grandma goes with the car, and grandma wants to go on a road trip to Niagara Falls.
Grandma is played by Susan Sarandon with frizzy grey curls. Tammy’s mom is played by Allison Janney. All this visually doesn’t make much sense, as the three women appear to be maybe a decade apart from each other. There is no way any wig makes hot Susan Sarandon look like the grandma to a 40-ish woman. Somewhere along the road trip, they encounter a father/son love interest duo (Gary Cole for Grandma and Mark Duplass for Tammy), party with rich lesbians (Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh), light a couple of vehicles on fire, get thrown in jail. You know, token road trip shenanigans, none of which seem particularly inspired.
There are even several scenes that are basically lifted out of her other films. Like, remember that time when McCarthy’s character tried to outrun Jason Bateman in Identity Thief? Well she tries to outrun a couple cops in Tammy. Remember when she sings along to her radio in the car, in the best cringe-inducing way, in some other movie? Well, she does it again here. And how she tried in The Heat to hurl herself over the hood of a car? Well she does that, too, but this time it’s a countertop.
Now, I think McCarthy is a delightful comedian, but this movie wastes her talents, as well as those of the rest of the cast (who must be buddies of McCarthy and her husband/co-writer/director/co-star Ben Falcone to sign on for this). The pacing is awkward, the cast strains to squeeze out some laughs, and ironically, rather than Sarandon or Duplass, McCarthy has the best chemistry with Sarah Baker. Who? She is the scene-stealing fast-food cashier who is the unwitting victim of Tammy’s unfortunate robbery. The best scene in the movie, with the most natural comic interplay, is also the scene that is featured in the trailer.
“Gimme some pies! Gimme some of the good pies!” There, now I’ve saved you an hour and a half of your time.
Along with the extended cut (do you really want to sit through more of this movie?) the Blu-ray has a few throw-away extras. “Tammy’s Road Trip Checklist” has McCarthy and her hubby Falcone talking about road trips; there are deleted scenes and “Fun Extras”, which are just a handful of cut scenes and alternate takes; then finally there is the requisite 3-minute gag reel… at least the cast was laughing.