Yes, from the trailers you’d imagine this one is going to be as funny as The Heat or Identity Thief? In part you’d be correct. It does have its moments of laughter, as I’m sure all movies starring Melissa McCarthy is apt to have, because at heart she knows how to be funny. I’d imagine she does it because of her size and she figured it was the only way for her to get that proverbial foot in the door of Hollywood? That’s just me guessing, but with Tammy I think she’s finally made her mark in the acting industry as a serious actor, not just comedian. That is, if the critics are kind and Hollywood is paying attention? I never read critic reviews because I tend to disagree with them more often than not. And we all know how kind Hollywood can be to those most deserving?
But, back to the movie! It’s about a woman named Tammy, who after having a bad start on her way to work (who among us hasn’t had a string of bad luck on our way to ANYWHERE), is late, and subsequently fired. Working at a chicken joint isn’t exactly the highlight of her days so she “goes out with a bang” or in what will probably be considered “McCarthy-like fashion” and of course the audience (myself included) found it hilarious! She did what most of us have only dreamed of doing if we were ever fired from a crappy job! But seriously though, being fired from a job you need, isn’t ALL that funny. It also doesn’t help that on the day you’re fired, your car goes up in smoke causing you to have to walk home; miles away mind you. Then you get home only to find your husband cooking a delicious meal for the lady next door! There’s more funny that comes with how Tammy handles the situation, but again, it’s kind of heartbreaking that her whole life falls apart in one day.
She makes her way to her mothers house (who lives conveniently next door) to cry on her shoulder and make a vow to leave that stinking town and never return! Something some of us have probably done several times in our life, even as children, when things just doesn’t seem to be going our way no matter what we do. Her mother (played by Allison Janney by the way) isn’t buying it. But the person who is all for it? Tammy’s grandmother (played by Susan Sarandon) who just so happens to be living in her daughters house. Three generations of women living close to each other. Who doesn’t know what that’s like? Having to live with your family for a multitude of reasons? Moving on…
There’s TONS of cursing and just plain vulgar hand gestures throughout the movie so it would NOT be appropriate for a younger audience! Which kind of annoyed me the day I went to see it (which was the morning of July 4th by the way) because like me, some parents didn’t realize this fact until they were in the theater with their children! Yes, parents took their kids under the age of 12 to see this movie. I was surprised the theater personnel didn’t say anything to them? I guess we don’t do that sort of thing anymore?
So anyway, the grandmother offers to let her granddaughter, Tammy, drive her car wherever she wants to go as long as she gets to tag along. She refuses to die alone in her daughters house! Tammy reluctantly agrees when her grandmother reveals the big wad of cash amounting to over six grand. Oh, and I should also mention there is a lot of drinking and driving while drunk in the movie also.
The scene in the movie trailer that, as most trailers do, didn’t exactly paint the true picture of what this movie is about, where Tammy robs a chicken joint, in “McCarthy-like fashion” of course, is actually a well intentioned moment. One that was taken purely out of context in order to get people to go see this seemingly comedic movie. But that’s not all it is. It’s the story of a woman trying to make a decision, believe in herself, and stop running away as a means to solve her problem. While at the same time it’s the story of a much older woman who needs to realize she has a drinking problem (as well as other illnesses) and start caring about herself.
As you can see there are a lot of serious issues at play here and although it is funny, it is also equally as serious. To date I would say it’s the best Melissa McCarthy movie in terms of showing her range beyond that of a comedian. Her next movie, St. Vincent (2014), one of the 7 previews we were shown before the movie started, seems to be headed in a direction of more serious roles. She’s come a long way from Sookie on Gilmore Girls. And it makes me happy to see the great strides she is making towards roles and storylines that have a bit more substance to them beyond just surface humor.
Lastly, I want to mention the others in the cast who are just as well known and who I was pleasantly surprised to see since the only other person to get a bit of a mention as being in this movie was Susan Sarandon. But, and I hope this doesn’t spoil the movie for anyone, getting to see Kathy Bates as a lesbian, with her lover Sandra Oh (yes, THAT Sandra Oh), was quite interesting. Also, Dan Aykroyd is there briefly as the father of Tammy. Oh, and the “other woman” aka lady next door aka home-wrecker is played by Toni Collette. Some cast, huh?
I took off one star because of its false advertising. Hollywood, stop deceiving the audience! I believe they would make more money if they trusted us with a LITTLE BIT about the actual storyline of a movie!