Friday Features: 'Tammy' review

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"Tammy"

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by HAYDEN PITTMAN

WFAA Special Contributor

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 4 at 9:12 AM

As to be expected in her newest raunchy comedy, Tammy," actor Melissa McCarthy once again plays the typical foul-mouthed, trashy, dense, large character that has made her popular in recent years.

Regarding the movie itself, I generally do not overly criticize films because I am very understanding and sympathetic to the fact that it takes a lot to make a movie. Acting is not easy, and most films do offer some form of entertainment.

There are laughable moments, and the cast is complete with a variety of well-known, quality actors, but overall, "Tammy" is an absolute pointless, messy, self-deprecating presentation filled with vulgar language, over the top actions, weak dialogue and some seriously depressing and idiotic content.

"Tammy" begins with the title character driving in her car on the way to work, where she soon hits a deer that's crossing the road. Following this mishap, several other unfortunate events plague her day -- including getting fired from work after showing up late and looking like a mess, coming home to find her husband cheating on her with the next door neighbor.

She finds the only way to escape her current situation and life is by taking a road trip with her pill-popping, crazy, carefree grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon). While on their trip, Tammy and Pearl do some major bonding by sharing stories, drinking large quantities of alcohol, getting into trouble, and experiencing a menagerie of adventures.

As seen in her previous work such as "Bridesmaids," "Identity Thief," and "The Heat," Melissa McCarthy knows how to play the role of an aggressive, obnoxious, simple-minded, brash, and idiotic character, among other descriptions and personality traits.

She does this once again in "Tammy," but here the film rests everything on her shoulders. I give her credit for being able to go all in on a character who often times is the subject of a cruel joke, ridicule, mockery, or an embarrassing moment. For all of the dirty and mean things Tammy says throughout the film, there are moments that are tough to watch and leave you feeling sorry for her as she is cheated on, discarded, insulted, injured, fired, turned down, and more. The beauty of Melissa McCarthy’s characters is that they seem to bounce right back up, unharmed and in good spirits.

The audience will experience an adequate amount of laughs in this mediocre comedy. Vulgar or not, there are a ton of one liners, wisecracks, references or comparisons to real world material, slapstick, humorous dialogue and actions that ensure at least a laugh or two.

The actors/characters look like they are having a good time in this carefree, adventurous film, and Tammy and Grandma Pearl have a very playful relationship. Other than McCarthy and Sarandon, the cast is made up of a range of popular actors such as Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Duplass, Gary Cole, Nat Faxon, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, and McCarthy’s real-life husband Ben Falcone, who also directs the film and co-writes with McCarthy.

Unfortunately, hit and miss laughs don’t carry a film or last forever, and this film quickly becomes tiresome and valueless. Tammy says one stupid, ridiculous, or inappropriate thing after another, and constantly falls flat on her face physically, emotionally, and mentally, which gets old fast in an attempt to fill an entire movie. It does have its moments of humor and entertainment, but as a whole, this film is uncivilized, brainless, and has no real point. There are several attempts at more serious, emotional, sentimental, or sympathetic type of content, but these only feel out of place and forced in an otherwise silly and hopeless movie. For such a comedy-driven film, it does include some rather somber topics such as alcoholism, cheating on your husband or spouse, old age, obesity, drug use, committing crimes, etc.

Even with all of the inappropriate content and foul language, "Tammy" appears to be an extremely female-driven film with a gathering of large women, funny, aggressive women, older women, women who like other women, and all women in general. A great deal of whether you’ll like this movie or not comes down to how you feel about Melissa McCarthy. If you like her, you might enjoy this film. If not, then you could very strongly dislike this film.

Check out this buddy family comedy in theaters this Fourth of July holiday weekend. Not appropriate for most kids.

Rated 2 out of 5 stars.


‘Tammy’ is rated R for language, including sexual references. Running time is 1 hour and 36 minutes.


Hayden Pittman is a special contributor to WFAA.com and a freelance film critic and entertainment blogger out of Dallas. More of his content can be found on YouPlusDallas.com and his author archive here. For more of his reviews on WFAA, click here. He is a film, TV, and sports enthusiast, and when not writing reviews or covering an event, he works in film production. As an average, passionate film lover who rarely misses a film, his reviews are straightforward and his way with words will let you know in a simple way what he thinks. Don’t like what he has to say? Let him know at haydenp@youplusmedia.com or follow him on Twitter at @HPMoviePitt.

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