Five years ago, Melissa McCarthy was a jobbing stand-up, juggling time between the US comedy circuit and acting work. Then came ‘Bridesmaids’.
Now, the innately lovable star produces, co-writes and headlines this brash, oestrogen-fuelled road movie, which sees her husband, actor Ben Falcone, venture behind the camera for his first stint in the director’s chair.
Alas, McCarthy’s golden touch doesn’t extend to scriptwriting because ‘Tammy’ is a hotch-potch of half-formed characters and ideas lacking nuance and depth.
It’s fitting that a comedy about a forty-something woman on the brink of emotional meltdown should itself be a shambles but, as a viewing experience, Falcone’s inaugural offering is more pain than gain.
The luckless heroine is Tammy (McCarthy), a dishevelled fast food restaurant worker.
She’s fired by her boss and arrives home early to discover her husband Greg (Nat Faxon) enjoying a romantic meal with a next-door neighbour (Toni Collette).
Tammy embarks on a road trip with her profanity-spewing, hard-drinking grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon), who has always wanted to visit Niagara Falls.
Clumsily scripted and poorly paced, ‘Tammy’ huffs and puffs with good intentions but barely raises a smile.
McCarthy works tirelessly but she’s on a hiding to nothing.
The second half softens Tammy with the introduction of Duplass’ nice guy, who evidently sees positive qualities in her that we can’t and almost don’t want to.