If you’re like me watching a movie can be a weird experience. I try to watch with both a critical eye and an eye to what the average movie viewer might be looking for in a film. There is a huge difference between what the moviegoer might want in a film and what a critic might want. Think Art vs Entertainment. Now, I am under no illusions that all movies- including ones that I like- could be classified as “Art” and I also know that there is nothing wrong with a film that is clearly entertainment only. All that said? Tammy fails on every level.
Melissa McCarthy is a gifted comedienne and over the last few years her career has exploded. Films like Bridesmaids, The Heat, and her CBS series Mike & Molly have cemented her as a comedic force to reckoned with. But, just because someone is funny doesn’t mean that they can make all material screamingly funny. This is the case with Tammy, the story of woman who has lost everything trying to find herself over the course of a roadtrip with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon). Nothing about this movie works: the script is unfunny, the cast is filled with funny people doing deeply boring or uninteresting things, the characters are caricatures, and the journey of self-discovery is both mean spirited and ends in such a boring/telegraphed way that, even though it is earned it would have saved us most of the movie had she just figured it out when the audience did.
As it’s a road movie, it features all the typical tropes one would expect including but not limited to; running out of money, a big fight that separates the main characters, love, sex, drugs and alcohol, jail, and large parties that seemingly just occur. Oh, and of course the main characters growing closer in their relationship because of what they go through on the trip. You could honestly watch nearly any road trip film and get the same effect and lose the deep undercurrent of awfulness these characters exude.
McCarthy, normally charmingly crude, here is over the top offensive, trashy, and unwatchably boring. Sarandon as well is an alcoholic oversexed cartoon character who adds nothing to the film in terms of quality or interest. Nothing about this film works and it’s clear from the first 10 minutes that you are in for a hugely painful viewing experience.
Not all movies are art, there I said it. But all movies are supposed to at least be interesting and tell stories. When those stories are hard to watch, they’re usually the most important. Unless that story is of a drab, boring, kinda hateful mess who doesn’t really grow or change at the end. Then it’s a story best left untold. F