"I know ... I can't believe they haven't seen Ted either and don't know what to expect from this movie!" Becky (Sarah Baker) and Larry (Rich Williams) offer little resistance ... and some pies ... to the title character (played by Melissa McCarthy) in a scene from her husband/co-writer/director Ben Falcone's comedy TAMMY. Credit: Michael Tackett © 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. 


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janey, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Nat Faxon, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Toni Collette, Sarah Baker, Rich Williams, Ben Falcone and Dan Aykroyd

WRITER(S): Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone

DIRECTOR(S): Ben Falcone


60 SECOND PLOT SYNOPSIS (OR AS CLOSE TO IT AS ONE CAN TRY TO MAKE): Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) has a terrible job with a bad boss (played by McCarthy's real-life husband/Tammy director Ben Falcone). In addition to her poor job and even poorer 1980s Toyota Corolla, she has a husband, Greg (Nat Faxon), that has been spending a lot of time with their next door neighbor Missi (Toni Collette).

Reaching a boiling point and looking to get out of her small Illinois town ASAP, Tammy heads over to her mom Deb (Allison Janey) hoping for a ride. But instead, she hits the road with her alcoholic grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon), Pearl's Cadillac and the $6,700 en route to Niagara Falls. Of course, no road trip experience is complete without a couple of unplanned stops in place likes Louisville, KY, a chance encounter with guys like the father-son duo of Earl (Gary Cole) and Bobby (Mark Duplass), a stop at a fast food restaurant that you once worked at and meeting up with a long last family member (Kathy Bates) and her partner (Sandra Oh)?

Yup, Tammy is in for quite an adventure indeed.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST?: Melissa McCarthy fans, Kathy Bates fans, Mark Duplass fans, people who enjoy seeing Susan Sarandon play a comedic role, mothers and daughters looking for a night at the movies together

WHO WON'T – OR SHOULDN'T – LIKE THIS FILM?: Those looking for a complete comedy experience instead of a film with moments of humor couple with a few dry stretches, people uncomfortable with homosexuals portrayed in a positive, non-stereotypical light, those growing tired of McCarthy's physical humor shtick

BOTTOM LINE – IS IT GOOD, GREAT, BAD OR DOWNRIGHT AWFUL? Remember that old slogan for Secret deodorant, "Strong enough for a man but made for a woman?" If not, you might want to familiarize yourself with it as it's a perfect description of Tammy thanks to a dedicated round of performances from McCarthy and her supporting cast.

WHAT'S GOOD (OR BAD) ABOUT IT? Tammy is one of those comedies that at first glance looks not only terribly unfunny, but formulaic as well. Fortunately, McCarthy and Falcone put a good amount of effort and energy to making the most of what would be an otherwise pedestrian road comedy. How so? By having a supporting cast that puts a great deal of energy and style into their roles to enhance the story as a whole before inserting a nice (if not familiar) dose of sentiment that will play well with not only women, but audiences in general. No, the movie isn't on the level of a Bridesmaids (which is still the reining champ in terms of laugh out loud female-centric comedies), but it does showcase McCarthy's abilities to play a character who can be funny, ridiculous and yet at the same time sweet and charming.

Sarandon is very sharp as Pearl, adding at times a Bad Grandpa-in-female-form vibe to the festivities, playing well off McCarthy serving as both her antagonist and voice of reason at times. The same can be said for Kathy Bates as Tammy's gay aunt Lenore, which proves itself to be one of Bates' more inspired performances in recent memory. You can tell the Academy Award winner is having fun as the possibly pyromaniacal character, a quality which can be said for the majority of the film's cast, be it the more overt characters like Bates', the understated-yet-overtly-funny ones such as the TopperJack's employee played by Sarah Baker or the subtle, sweet performance turned in by Mark Duplass.

That in turn is what gives Tammy a feel-good quality that makes the movie not-so-much a comedy but rather a coming-of-age tale for a woman that needed to grow up a long time ago. It's not a new story, per se, but it is executed fairly well enough that most audiences won't care as they'll be too busy enjoying Tammy's jokes, her failures and eventual triumphs en route to an enjoyable, satisfying apex.

If nothing else, it's got enough fireworks to provide a spark in an otherwise tepid Fourth of July box office outlook.


* EDITOR'S NOTE: This rating was amended from its original 3 bucket rating.


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