Tammy (Melissa McCarthy), the namesake of this rather gratuitously plotted film, is about as irritating and two-dimensional a character as anything Will Farrell has ever had a hand in creating – and if anyone remembers Elf, that may be hard to believe.
Fired from her job, head butted by a rightly-annoyed deer that “just ran” in front of her totaled car and catching her husband in the act of eating a romantic home-cooked dinner with her neighbour – the opening scene certainly doesn’t do Tammy any favours. The least that can be said here is that she goes out in style – of sorts. Her embarrassing profanity-filled exit from the fast food joint she worked in is rivalled only by her miserable, angrily-narrated trod from her marital home to her mother who lives two doors down.
It’s hard to laugh at the comedy due to the fact that it’s clear we’re meant to be laughing at her as opposed to with her. As the essential hard-to-get love interest Bobby says “you’re straightforward. I like that”. Read as “you’re stupid. We can market this and make you a pitiable figure to be laughed at” and you might have a summary of the actual screen presentation of Tammy.
The plot, such as it is, is based around a road trip Tammy undertakes with her alcoholic grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon), seemingly on a self-destructive path, with her heart set on visiting Niagara Falls before she dies. Throw in some geriatric sex in a car while Tammy and Bobby stand awkwardly outside waiting for their drunken elderly relatives to finish up (or off), an arrest for drunk and disorderly, a fast-food joint robbery involving seized apple pie and a hand pistol (sadly, completely literally) before an inevitable second arrest in the hungover aftermath of a stereotypically fiesty lesbian party.
There you have it. A 90-something minute ordeal of voyeuristic farce with a romantic climax at the supposedly feel-good end for which Pearl has sobered up, Tammy has done her hair and they finally get to Niagara Falls. At least there were nachos for half the audience to rustle about for and crunch on to drown out some of Tammy’s more idiotic remarks.
Tammy is released nationwide on 4th July 2014.
Watch the trailer for Tammy here: