It’s hard to picture Melissa McCarthy’s previous film characters–ones who have generally been funny or sympathetic in some way–and try to reconcile them with her character in Tammy. The film stars several high-profile actors, two of whom Oscar winners, and continues on the road of making McCarthy look really bad before trying to make her look good. The movie is full of out-of-place events, comedic moments that fall flat, and bad writing with no real plot, only proving that Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy should stick to acting and leave the writing to someone else.

Tammy (McCarthy) is having one of those lousy days. On top of the fact that she’s already a pretty awful person, she hits a deer on the way to work, damaging her car. Because she’s late to work at a fast food chain, her boss decides he’s had enough and fires her. Tammy is in for a rude awakening when she gets home to find her husband Greg (Nat Faxon) is having breakfast with their neighbor Missi (Toni Collette).

So like a grumpy child having a fit, Tammy storms off to her parents’ (Allison Janey and Dan Aykroyd) house, which is only a few houses down the street, and declares that she’s sick and tired of everything and is leaving town. No one wants to give her the car, because a person with that kind of temper and immaturity should not be anywhere near a moving vehicle. So her grandma Pearl (Susan Sarandon) offers to give her her car, but only on the condition that she come with Tammy. And so they ride off together into the sunset. The end. Oh, if only this was the case.

What happens after the first ten minutes of the film is up to anyone’s interpretation, one of them being that Tammy is an awful and agonizing film made by people who should know better. The movie might have been better off with the title Random Roadtrip with my Grandma Where Absolutely Nothing Happens. That title is the best way to sum the entire film. Nothing happens. Well, nothing outside of random events that lead to more nothing to mask the fact that there is no plot and the movie, and its highly idiotic characters, are a waste of anyone’s time and money.

There are actually talented people in this film, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by watching since the lot of them (the fantastic Toni Collette being the most underused of all) are of no use to the story. But I suppose that doesn’t matter in this case because there is no story. McCarthy, who co-writes the screenplay, and is usually funny to watch, basically calls in some high-profile friends to be in the film because it’s painfully obvious that they’re not there for the amazing script.

McCarthy’s Tammy is obnoxious, has the temper of a five-year-old, and is someone you can’t sympathize with, no matter what bad things come her way. The lesson learned, which comes in the last ten minutes of the film, is supposed to be an eye-opener for Tammy, but it’ll only leave you in bewilderment, with an eye-roll on the side. As far as anyone is concerned, a movie should have an understandable story, no matter how simple it is. There should be characters whose journeys you can follow and look back on to see where they were in the beginning and where they end up before the credits roll. This is not the case at all with Tammy. The fact that it’s a comedy and the audience isn’t distracted by things being blown up in every scene make its many faults extremely noticeable.

The film has vestiges of emotions that last for about, oh, two seconds before they’re dead and gone, lost in a sea of perpetual stupidity. The most aggravating part of the entire film is that the writing doesn’t even allow or try to give the characters anything to go on. The lead characters are arguing with each other, and then out of the blue, the younger mentions her issues with the elder. This comes at three-quarters of the way through the film, which is enough to give one pause, before the urge to run out of the theater becomes very overwhelming.

Quite frankly, the movie is, to sum it up in one word, awful. McCarthy’s character is so rude, unfunny, and unsympathetic. Therapy is better suited for her than a road trip with her unstable grandmother. Sarandon weaves drunkenly throughout, with nothing but a white wig (or dye, you can’t quite tell) that screams “elderly” and nothing else going for her. The story impressively lacks everything. It’s all just unfunny event after more unfunny events. The film starts off badly and doesn’t ever get the chance to redeem itself, even when it has plenty of opportunities to do so. Melissa McCarthy fans will be highly disappointed and they’ll have every right to be.

Release Date: July 2, 2014 | Director: Ben Falcone | Screenwriters: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone | Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Nat Faxon, Toni Collette | Genre: Comedy | MPAA Rating: R for language, including sexual references



About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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