Tammy Takes the Long, Long Road to Redemption
- Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Release Date: July 2, 2014
Rating: R (for language including sexual references)
Run Time: 96 minutes
Director: Ben Falcone
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Duplass, Gary Cole, Nat Faxon, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, Ben Falcone
As she's proven in The Heat, Identity Thief, the closing credits of This is 40, and, of course, Bridesmaids, there isn't much that Melissa McCarthy won't do for a laugh. When McCarthy commits, she fully commits, even if the scene basically calls for total humiliation.
Now with Tammy, McCarthy has found a partner who’s also willing to go for broke in Susan Sarandon (Enchanted). While Sarandon is far too young to be playing McCarthy's grandmother (only 24 years separate them), she seems more than willing to keep up (even occasionally one-up) with her brassy granddaughter.
If McCarthy plays many more characters like Tammy, she's probably in serious danger of being typecast. But as a middle-aged woman who feels stuck in a small town with a bad job, a bad marriage and exactly zero prospects moving forward, McCarthy still manages to drum up sympathy while simultaneously causing the viewer to want to shake her. Repeatedly.
Yes, once again, McCarthy's Tammy is the sort of woman who finds herself in any number of precarious situations that could've been avoided with simple common sense. But then again, how much fun would that be?
When we first meet Tammy, she's pretty much having the worst day on record. While listening to her favorite song, the rather curious choice of The Outfield's "I Don't Want to Lose Your Love Tonight," she collides with a deer. After comforting the ailing animal, Tammy barely makes it to work in her messed-up ride, only to get fired from the depressing fast food joint. Naturally, she's upset when she gets home, which is exactly when Tammy discovers that her husband (Nat Faxon, The Way, Way Back) has been carrying on an affair with their neighbor (Toni Collette, The Way, Way Back). What’s even worse than the obvious betrayal to Tammy is that he made his mistress dinner, something she says he never did for her.
Packing up her belongings, which, of course, tumble out of the bulging suitcase to the dirty pavement, Tammy retreats to her Mom’s house just down the street. Hoping she can borrow her Mom’s car so she can ditch her sad-sack life for good, her mom (Allison Janney, The Way, Way Back) says no. But Tammy's grandmother, who also lives there, is more than game. She's got a car, a fat wad of cash and is more than ready for an adventure.
In the grand tradition of road trip movies, things never go exactly as planned, and all those hours of interstate driving in the Midwest lead to some pretty surprising revelations about Tammy's family history. McCarthy and Sarandon make a very funny pair as they inch closer to Niagara Falls, a place with personal significance for Sarandon's character.
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