I love Melissa McCarthy. I think she’s hands-down the funniest woman in Hollywood- the funniest since Lucille Ball. Despite its sweetness, this is her least funny movie. Maybe Melissa McCarthy is best when others are doing the writing. McCarthy co-wrote this with her hubby, Ben Falcone, who also directed and stars in the opening scene as her fast food eatery boss from hell.
The movie begins with Tammy having the worst day ever. She totals her car after hitting a deer who bashes Tammy’s nose as it runs off. Then, she’s fired for being late to her fast food job and comes home to find her hubby (Nat Faxon, who wrote and directed the highly recommended coming of ager “The Way, Way Back”) having an affair with a neighbor (Toni Collette- who also starred in “The Way Way Back”). Yeah- that kind of bad day. Tammy leaves home only to go a couple doors down to her mom’s (played by yet another “The Way Way back alumn- Allison Janney.
The movie is in large part an homage to “Thelma & Louise” with Tammy leaving her troubles behind , taking a road trip with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon). Now, Melissa McCarthy is 43. Sarandon is 68- and even with a gray wig doesn’t even look that old. Janney is 54 to McCarthy’s 43. So, yeah, miscasting all the way around.
Gary Cole has never looked better as a married man who ends up having a hot and heavy fling with the grandmom after meeting at a roadhouse (another aside to “Thelma & Louise”). Indie prince Mark Duplass (one of the creators of the indie dialogue-driven, heavily improved mumblecore movies) plays his son and McCarthy’s ultimate love interest. Kathy Bates is fun with Sandra Oh as her life partner.
There just aren’t enough laughs in this movie. There’s more sweetness than laughs.