Wednesday, November 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Review: McCarthy’s ‘Tammy’ misses the funny bone

By
From page B2 | July 04, 2014 |

Jocelyn Noveck

Meet Tammy. Boy, is she a mess. Angry, profane and aggressive, then suddenly shy and sweet. Sometimes she’s funny, sometimes totally not. She can’t figure out what she wants to do or be, or where to go. She has loads of people around her, yet can’t figure out what to do with them. This one’s in desperate need of outside help.

And you thought we were talking about Tammy, the character — played by lovable Melissa McCarthy in her first venture as producer, star and co-writer with husband Ben Falcone. Well, sure. But really we’re talking about “Tammy” the movie, about which all of the above descriptions are also true.

Especially the “mess” part. Oy.

Other recent comedies have been described as elongated “Saturday Night Live” skits, but it’s especially apt here, and not just because McCarthy and Falcone, who also directs, are veteran improv performers. Exaggerated characters, some wacky side plots, a couple of famous faces sprinkled in, and you’re off. Some of it’s good, some terrible, but you keep it all, ’cause, hey, why not? It’s a comedy sketch.

Only this is a much anticipated, heavily promoted feature-length film, and as such, it can only be deemed an unfortunate, though ambitious and intermittently enjoyable, misfire for McCarthy, so adorably entertaining in better movies like “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat.”

Part of the problem is miscasting. “Tammy” is full of name actors: Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Dan Akyroyd. Most are misused. (Bates is a happy exception.)

Most glaring of all: Sarandon plays Tammy’s doddering grandmother, Pearl, with whom Tammy goes on a female-bonding road trip (yes, obvious echoes of “Thelma and Louise”). Give her credit for trying, but really, Sarandon as a doddering grandma? McCarthy is 43. Sarandon is 67, but we all know she looks great for 50, maybe 45. They give her a dumpy pants ensemble, an unflattering gray wig and fake swollen ankles, but we don’t buy it for a minute. Just look at Sarandon’s glowing skin here — she should be doing a Dove commercial.

It still might have worked if these two actresses had the comic chemistry (or the script) that made us laugh at the rowdy McCarthy teaming with the uptight Bullock in “The Heat.” No heat here, alas.

We first meet Tammy on, arguably, the worst day of her life. First, her car hits a deer. That makes her late for her job at Topper Jack’s burger joint, where she’s promptly fired by her sadistic boss Keith (Falcone), and responds by licking all the hamburger buns.

At home, she finds husband Greg (Nat Faxon) romancing neighbor Missi (Toni Collette, criminally underused). Furious, she runs home to her mother, Deb (Allison Janney, a great-looking 54-year-old, and thus also implausibly cast — but whatever.)

Tammy wants to hit the road. That’s where Pearl comes in. She’s eager to stave off the nursing home, and has a huge wad of cash.

Misadventures ensue. Tammy totals a jet ski. Pearl gets drunk — she’s a serious alcoholic, and a diabetic — and ends up having sex in a car with a randy old guy, while his son (Mark Duplass, in a sweet performance) and Tammy watch in disgust. Tammy and Pearl get in trouble with the law. Tammy needs bail money for Pearl, so she robs a Topper Jack’s with a paper bag on her head.

Somehow the two end up — and you knew this was coming — at a huge lesbian July 4th party! The hosts are Pearl’s friend Lenore, played by the terrific Bates, and girlfriend Susanne (Sandra Oh, barely used at all.) This is where things go seriously wrong between Pearl and Tammy.

It all comes hurtling oddly, with weird rhythm and pacing, to an equally odd ending. At least Tammy — the character, not the movie — seems to know a little more about where she’s going.

Us? We’re still scratching our heads.

“Tammy,” a Warner Bros. release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America “for language, including sexual references.” Running time: 96 minutes. Two stars out of four.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Soroptimists seek award applicants

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Science comes to libraries – for all to see

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

 
Library schedules soap-making program

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

 
Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

 
 
Volunteers help Mission Solano pack for food giveaway

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Incumbent Democrats lose in 2 close California Assembly races

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
VA fires Phoenix hospital director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Iraqi troops take 2 towns from Islamic State group

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Iran nuclear talks stumble, extended until July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brown names assistant US attorney to high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Driver fatigue may have caused California crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

Israel resumes razing homes to punish attackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
GOP wisdom shifts on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 8 Comments | Gallery

Under pressure, Hagel steps down as Pentagon chief

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No charges in Ferguson case; chaos fills streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 97 Comments | Gallery

.

Opinion

 
Senate staff cuts reduce transparency

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

‘Wizard of Oz’ Cowardly Lion costume fetches $3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Miller puts own spin on longtime ‘GH’ character

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘Today’ looks to rebound from tough week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Review: Turmoil helps AC/DC shine on new album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Guitarist: Leon Russell band’s instruments stolen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Sting tries to help his ailing Broadway musical

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

In wake of Spotify pullout, music industry debates streaming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Bill Weir’s new CNN series to begin in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

TVGrid Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Forsett leads Ravens past Saints, 34-27

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bills rout Jets 38-3 in rescheduled game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Even top NFL teams have taken steps back

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aldon Smith helps lead in 49ers’ 3rd straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rod Streater returns to practice for Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Taylor apologizes, won’t appeal NBA suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz on Hall of Fame ballot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
No. 1 Kentucky gives Kansas a Top 25 tumble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

LeBron on Cavaliers’ issues: “I stink”

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Police: Manziel’s entourage attacked fan at hotel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants set record with $388,606 postseason shares

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Longtime NHL coach, executive Pat Quinn dies at 71

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pablo Sandoval reaches multiyear deal with Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
San Francisco turning to groundwater for its taps

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

South Carolina the new No. 1 in AP women’s hoops

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

Budweiser gives Clydesdales holiday pink slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 3 Comments

 
Redbox raising DVD rental rates by 25 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

New FDA rules will put calorie counts on menus

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Unidentified country likely behind spying software

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Honda admits failing to report deaths, injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
United Technologies CEO retires, succeeded by CFO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Nike extends contract with USOC through 2020

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
High-end home sales surge in Southern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Rose is Rose Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4