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'Tammy' lacks originality

'Tammy' Movie Review


‘Tammy’ first time director, Ben Falcone’s (he also co-wrote the screenplay) motion picture opens this July 4th weekend. The screenplay is a family affair, written by his wife Melissa McCarthy and Falcone.

 Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone.
Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone.
Used with permission. Photo by Michael Tackett © (c) 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Hit the road with Tammy.
Used with permission © (c) 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The comedy is about a woman, Tammy Banks (Oscar® nominee Melissa McCarthy) who after losing her job, husband and car in one day, she wants to get away from her small town life. But, without a job or cookie jar money, she is left with only one way to get out, to take along her grandmother, Pearl (Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon). Pearl has transportation and money to fund her relocation. So, she hits the road with her and their misadventures them on a funny and heartfelt road trip to remember.

The film also stars Allison Janney (‘The Help’) as Deb her mom, Gary Cole (TV’s ‘VEEP’) as ladies’ man Earl; and Mark Duplass (HBO’s ‘Togetherness’) as his son, Bobby; with Dan Aykroyd (‘The Campaign’) as Tammy’s dad, Don; and Oscar® winner Kathy Bates (‘Misery’) as Pearl’s fun-loving cousin Lenore. Rounding out the cast are Oscar® nominee Sandra Oh (‘Sideways’) as Lenore’s partner, Susanne; Oscar® nominee Toni Collette (‘The Sixth Sense’) as Tammy’s neighbor, Missi; and Nat Faxon (‘Bad Teacher’) as Tammy’s husband, Greg.

At first glance, you expect McCarthy and Sarandon to add a new chapter in Sarandon’s iconic girl bonding movie, ‘Thelma and Louise’. After all, it has two women in a car on a road trip (there is even a brush with the law). But, sadly it is an opportunity missed.

‘Tammy’ has its humorous moments, but it isn’t anything that we haven’t seen Melissa McCarthy do in her previous movies ; Think ‘Identity Thief’. Although, she portrays a misunderstood and damaged girl with a good heart, hilariously well, there are few surprises. Given the star power within the film, you expect that the bar would be raised on the level of acting. Yet, these first class funny men and women are relegated to a script that only requires them to be present. For instance, Toni Collette stands there with a pained look on her face and mutters two sentences.

However, Sarandon delivers a scathing monologue (directed to her granddaughter) in a drunken stupor, thereby giving a whole new meaning to the term dysfunctional. Her scenes are some of the best in the film. But without a well-rounded script and a clear direction, there is little that one person can do.

‘Tammy’ has some humorous moments. But, the script lack cohesiveness. It is as if the scenes would do well as television comedy skits instead of a full length movie. Like its main character, ‘Tammy’ doesn't live up to its potential.

This film has been rated R by the MPAA for language, including sexual references. It has a run time of 96 minutes.