She hit the road, and drove off a cliff
Tammy is directed by Ben Falcone, co-written by Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, and stars McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Dan Aykroyd, and Kathy Bates.
There is no question that well-intended audiences suffer from the anguish of bad comedy. It is undoubtedly one of, if not the worst, type of film, because it is impossible for one to find any form of enjoyment whatsoever in a bad comedy. You can find unintentional hilarity in a bad action film or a bad horror movie, but a bad comedy? Nothing. There is nothing but pain. If there is anything to make us feel better about wasting away precious hours of our lives watching people fail at being funny, it's that we are not alone in our suffering. More often than not, actors and actresses who have proven themselves to be funny at some point in their career sooner or later find themselves starring in a bad comedy that only serve to be an ugly scar on their careers. The list is too long, but in the case of 2014's Tammy, it's Melissa McCarthy whose career as a comedian suffers. She's not completely alone here, though. She drags the likes of Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Dan Aykroyd down with her.
McCarthy has proven that she has comedic talent, but none of it is visible in Tammy, a film that McCarthy produced and co-wrote with her husband, Ben Falcone, who also serves as director. According to IMDB, the film was based on a dream that Falcone had about McCarthy, and in the dream, McCarthy worked at a fast food restaurant and her life was falling apart. So I suppose that Tammy was something of a passion project for McCarthy and Falcone, but given the film's mediocre response from critics, I seriously hope it wasn't.
So who is Tammy? Well, all you need to know is that she's having one of the worst days of her life. She hits a deer with her car, resulting in her being late for work. Tammy works at the fast food restaurant Topper Jack's, and when she arrives, her boss, Keith Morgan (Ben Falcone) decides to fire her, as Tammy has been late to work far too many times. Tammy's car breaks down on her way home, forcing her to walk the rest of the way. When Tammy finally gets home, she finds her husband, Greg (Nat Faxon), eating a romantic dinner with their neighbor, Missi (Toni Collette). Tammy storms out and walks over to her parents' house. Tammy tells her mother Deb (Allison Janney) that she plans to take her grandmother's car and leave town. Tammy's grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), requests to join Tammy, persuading her with a large roll of cash and some alcohol. Tammy and Pearl then hit the road, with no clear idea of where they're going or what they're going to do.
- The only thing that Tammy does that comes even remotely close to being a high point is that it avoids doing the whole "fat Tammy is a fat fatty so let's let all the haters of fat people make rude fat jokes about how fatty fat that fat Tammy is." There are moments in which Tammy stumbles and falls solely based on her weight, but these moments are pretty rare. I am one to believe that McCarthy has kept herself from being considered the female version of Kevin James, and that's largely because any and all bad comedies that she has been in are ones that don't bring much attention to her weight.
- Holy crap, how tonally confused Tammy is. Tammy doesn't try to just be a road trip comedy; it also goes for being a serious, emotional drama. It doesn't succeed at doing either, and the film could've easily redeemed itself if it just stuck to its road trip formula and run with it the whole 97 minutes. The comedy aspects of the film are masterful works of awkwardness, with the scene in which Tammy robs a Topper Jack's restaurant being one of the most awkward scenes in a comedy that I've seen in quite some time. And then you have Tammy going around calling everyone assholes, this being the whipped cream on top of the awkward banana split boat. The cherry on top of this ice cream turd is that Tammy is also kind of a dumb ass, such as confusing the definition of a pattern with the definition of a galaxy. Anyway, the comedy parts suck, and then the movie hurts your head a little bit more when it attempts to make the relationship between Tammy and Pearl seem like Thunderbolt and Lightfoot or Thelma and Louise. There's a scene in which Pearl is passed out one morning on a lawn chair, having drunken a little too much the night before at a party located at Kathy Bates' character's house. Tammy shakes her several times with no response. Tammy, believing Pearl to be dead, rushes back into the house and sobs into the arms of the other women inside. That's when Pearl wakes up and freaks everyone out. This scene is really played out like it's a tragic death scene, only for the film to cut the cord and be like, "Nah, just kidding! She's not really dead! Haha, I got ya!" It was at this moment that I realized that Tammy went from plain ol' garbage to flaming hot garbage.
I wish I had more to write about, but there's really nothing else in the movie that's worth my words of fury. Tammy is a super awkward and painfully boring road trip movie that also fails at being a high stakes drama. The people in this movie are way better than this movie: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Kathy Bates. All of these people are talented and funny, but this movie does nothing to tell you that. Every one of them suffers, and in the end, we're all a little worse off; everyone involved in the movie gets a bad mark on their respective careers, and we as the audience are given the opportunity to waste away a precious hour and a half of our lives. Crap like Tammy is why I've never, in my lifetime, gone to see comedies in the theater, and if bad comedies continue to pop up like weeds, I probably never will.
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