When you think about it, Melissa McCarthy is the true breakout star of Bridesmaids. The film announced to the world the talents of its star, Kristen Wiig, but it is McCarthy who has gone on to TV fame with Mike and Molly, headlined films such as Identity Thief and even scored a scene-stealing role in The Hangover III.
Now, she's got a movie in Tammy that has her playing the title character, but more importantly, it’s a passion project for her and her husband -- fellow comic Ben Falcone.
The duo penned the script and Falcone makes his directorial debut in Tammy. It’s a road trip/find yourself comedy that features an all-star cast beyond McCarthy, including Oscar winners Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates, as well as Grey’s Anatomy vet Sandra Oh and comedy standouts Dan Aykroyd, Mark Duplass and Gary Cole.
As the Tammy trailer shows, our heroine has her car die, loses her job and comes home to find her husband (Nat Faxon) having an affair with her next door neighbor (Oscar nominee Toni Collette). All she wants to do now is get out of her small town.
Her mother (Allison Janney) won’t help her, but her grandmother (Sarandon) is more than game to hit the road with Tammy, and that is the condition with which she can use her car. What’s a girl to do? Hit the road with her pill-popping, bottle-swigging, sex-crazed grandma!
Falcone and McCarthy’s story is a refreshing road trip movie in the sense that you don’t see many grandma and granddaughter versions of this concept. McCarthy is great being a self-destructive/low self-esteemed woman -- but that act has been played before. What makes the entire thing work at all is her chemistry with Sarandon.
The pair bicker in typical comedic ways, but there’s a heart there that is unique in that despite their differences, these two love and care about each other. And in the end, they can make each other better people.
Some of their self-awareness moments are telegraphed a mile away and two lesser actresses could not have pulled it off. There is nothing worse than a predictable comedy. Tammy is not that, and it is largely due to its cast and the comedic training and background of Falcone and McCarthy.
Duplass and Cole are son and father, and the two meet McCarthy and Sarandon on the road and each couple make a decent pair. In fact, we were quite impressed with Duplass’ ability to play the puppy dog-eyed love interest for McCarthy.
Tammy is not a wildly original comedy in terms of plot. But, for fans of McCarthy’s brand of humor and her comic chemistry on and off screen with Falcone, Tammy should be a fun and harmless comedy for the warmer months.
We just hope, our Tammy review has to say, that McCarthy and Falcone continue to hone their skills to make their future endeavors a little more biting in the comedic tooth.
They play it safe, and that works pretty well -- but we think they are capable of much more envelope-pushing.
And be sure to check out the comic chemistry between Falcone and McCarthy when you watch Bridesmaids online! Their scenes together in Tammy are equally as hilarious.