Melissa McCarthy is an intelligent woman with impeccable comedic timing; together with her husband, Ben Falcone (he also directed and plays her boss “Keith”) she wrote and stars in “Tammy”, a movie that elicits little laughter and lots of disappointment; the first twenty minutes she harangues anyone and anything within hearing distance; she has created a cult to corpulence, and gorges as its shaman. What should have been a tremendous “filmatic” coup, a chance to soar above her other performances in “Bridesmaids”, “The Heat”, “Identity Thief” barely simmers. It would be a travesty if Ms. McCarthy coddled, cultivated this abundentantly overused schtick in future films.
Jobless, Tammy leaves her faithless, cad of a husband and goes on a road trip with her perpetually sloshed, licentious grandmother “Pearl” (talented Susan Sarandon, should have passed on this minimizing role). One sorry, predictable vignette proceeds another: petty robbery, jail time; cardboard characterizations, except the indomitable Kathy Bates as a successful pet store proprietor “Lenore”. For all her girth “Tammy” is shallow, wallowing in self- pity, self righteous and ignorant that the battle she wages is within, as is victory.
Still, there is something about “Tammy”, maybe it’s the dimples, joy of raising havoc; swearing chivalrously at potential foes; her salty tongue lacks potent barbs, meanness; beneath the paunchy facade lies a rich, carbohydrate-infused heart; a warm, pulsating vessel with the capacity to make one smile, laugh.