Why does Melissa McCarthy hate herself so much? There’s no doubt after her star-making supporting role in “Bridesmaids” that she definitely has the comic talent to be a hilarious leading lady, but why does she make her characters so difficult to like? In “Identity Thief” and “The Heat” McCarthy played pretty much the same character – a lonely woman who’s rude, unkempt and uncouth, but midway through the film reveals a softer side that’s supposed to make you feel sorry for her and tolerate her obnoxious behavior. “Tammy” is unfortunately more of the same.
It didn’t have to be. “Tammy” is written by McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone (who also directed), so the opportunity was there to reveal a different side of her personality. They could have made her into a lovable leading lady, but instead took the lazy, easy route and just shoveled more of the same crass attitude and dumb behavior audiences have now come to expect from McCarthy instead of trying to show something new.
“Tammy” is essentially a road trip movie for the girls. After losing her car, her job and her husband in the span of a few hours, Tammy (McCarthy) wants to just drive away from her loser life, but needs her grandma Pearl (Susan Sarandon) to lend her car to do so. But Pearl needs to get away from her droll life too so will only lend Tammy her car if she can tag along. From there the two get involved in some boring and stupid adventures. Think “Bad Grandpa,” but way less funny.
McCarthy usually shines when allowed the freedom to improvise. You can tell that that funniest scenes from her recent films are simply moments where she’s riffing on some random topic and just letting her jokes flow out naturally. Yet in “Tammy” she appears very restrained, and it is most likely due to the fact that she helped write the screenplay and it’s probably harder to stray from your own words.
“Tammy” is not funny at all and is in fact quite a bore, considering McCarthy is always so full of energy. She definitely gives it her all but even the best need good material to work with. Too bad in this case the only person she can blame is herself.