I wanted to see a great movie today, but I went to “Tammy” instead. It was convenient, brief (96 minutes) and, like most broad comedies, front and center on the menu. Also, I am fan of Melissa McCarthy (“The Heat”), and since this is the first movie written by her and directed by her husband (Ben Falcone from “Enough Said”), I wanted to give it a chance.
The movie starts off like “Jerry Maguire” (Cameron Crowe – 1996) as Tammy loses her car, her job and her husband in the first 10 minutes. She is going to leave town for the umpteenth time, though she has never made it more than 10 miles. This time she has her grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon from “Cloud Atlas“), along with the old lady’s car and wad of cash. Alright, I thought: show me the funny.
Now it’s a road trip movie, except they don’t know where to go or how to get there. Unfortunately that is true for both the characters and the movie itself. A road trip movie does not have to go anywhere to be good, but the characters have to get somewhere.
So much of the movie was “on the nose,” like when Tammy’s grandmother told her, “You are at a crossroads here.” It was like when Fozzie Bear and Kermit came to a fork in the road and it was an actual fork, but not as funny.
The whole movie was a string of amusing bits that made me smile and only made Tammy more and more pathetic. There was no revelation of why she is the way she is, and if she will ever change. She careens through her life with fits of anger and frustration peppered with sullen moments of feeling sorry for herself. She does not have to win or save the day, but she needs to be interesting; if not, she could just be hilarious. The set up, the punch line, and smart-ass retort for 96 minutes just did not get it done.
The movie was not horrible. I mean, it went down like the sliders at Chili’s, and still left you hungry. McCarthy’s last few movies were much better and funnier than this. She needs to stick to adlibbing lines in other people’s script. Therefore, I must give this movie 2 stars out of 5. Stop going for the easy jokes like they were low-hanging cheeseburgers.
Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site: http://bashmovies.wordpress.com