News

REVIEW: Melissa McCarthy loses steam in ‘Tammy’

REVIEW: Melissa McCarthy loses steam in ‘Tammy’

/Warner Bros.

Genre: Comedy | Run Time: 96 min | Rated: R
Director: Ben Falcone | Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates

By: George Wolf

Though I grudgingly admit there’s a Melissa McCarthy backlash out there, I’m having no part of it. She’s an often hilarious comic powerhouse who has been on a roll since her Oscar-nominated breakthrough in Bridesmaids.

Her latest, though, slows that roll considerably.

Tammy is McCarthy’s first project as a headliner, from a script she co-wrote with her husband Ben Falcone (who also directs). Deciding to make it a road movie may have been their first mistake.

In one very bad day, Tammy (McCarthy) manages to lose her job, her car and her husband. Her mother (Allison Janney) offers little more than tough love, but Tammy’s grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon) has cash, wheels, and a travelin’ jones.

Off they go.

You can imagine how road movies are tempting for comedy writers, but the gimmick too often amounts to taking the path of least resistance. Got a few ideas for some randomly absurd skits? Just connect them with a stretch of highway or some winding country roads, and you’ve got yourself a movie!

McCarthy is a better bet than most to pull it off, and she showed that last year, scoring solid laughs in Identity Thief. But, that film also gave her the benefit of a better script, a great straight man in Jason Bateman, and a much more solid premise.

Tammy offers precious little support on any front. Sarandon, playing well above her age, settles for overacting in place of comic timing, while only a whisp of exposition is offered before they hit the highway.

McCarthy, through sheer force of her onscreen presence, does manage to find a little funny, but the glimpses of how this character might have carried a film are never fully developed. McCarthy and Falcone may one day become a filmmaking power couple, but Tammy proves they still need a bit more seasoning.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Recent Headlines

in Sports

US dominates Finland 114-55 in basketball worlds

Fresh
Basketball

The U.S. held Finland without a basket in the second quarter, opening defense of its title with a 114-55 romp Saturday in the Basketball World Cup.

in Local Sports

Dempsey lifts Seattle past Colorado, 1-0

Fresh
Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid applauds as he leaves the field after the first game of the Western Conference semifinals in the MLS Cup soccer playoffs against the Portland Timbers, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in Seattle. The Timbers won 2-1 in the first of the two-game aggregate playoff series.

Clint Dempsey scored off a corner kick in the 52nd minute and the Seattle Sounders beat the Colorado Rapids 1-0 on Saturday to extend their overall MLS lead.

in Local Sports

Seattle goes with 2 QB’s cutting Pryor, Daniels

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Terrelle Pryor runs for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers in the second half of a preseason NFL football game, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Seattle.

The Seattle Seahawks will begin the season with only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster after cutting Terrelle Pryor and B.J. Daniels as part of their final roster cuts.

in Sports

Rams cut Sam, 1st drafted openly gay player

Missouri senior defensive lineman Michael Sam speaks to the media during an NCAA college football news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Irving, Texas. Missouri takes on Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl on Friday in Arlington, Texas.

The St. Louis Rams have cut Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays

diaz

A look at the celebrities who will be celebrating this weekend.