Review: “Tammy” (Spoilers)



This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Period.

It lacked humor, intelligence, character depth or any real cohesive storyline. The only redeeming thing about the movie to me is that it did not include any transphobic content. That I noticed between cringing, yawning and eye rolling. It wasn’t even a guilty cringe kind of funny.

The premis is pretty much your standard shlubby guy theme – a young woman squandering her life in a dead-end job loses that job, her marriage and even her wreck of a car in a matter of a few hours. She goes on an inexplicable road trip with her grandmother and ends up finding herself. It was a retread of the “Identity Thief” storyline with Susan Sarandon in the Jason Bateman role and lacking the humor.

The character of Tammy is just pathetic. And there’s no explanation. She has two parents who are together, seem to love her and use all sorts of appropriate supportive boundaries. There’s no explanation on when and how Tammy gave up on herself. During the first part of the movie, she’s actually pretty stupid. Her big transformation is just – blah. It doesn’t make sense that she grows wise in the course of one on-screen evening.

Susan Sarandon’s “Pearl” is a tragic waste of talent. She did get a few of the actual funny scenes as when she flashes a large group of lesbians during a party and again when she’s having sex in the backseat of her car with a stranger. But she’s just a rather bitter alcoholic with no storyline, no explanation, no depth. And it is really hard to buy Sarandon as McCarthy’s grandmother.

I found the infamous holdup scene amusing because McCarthy went for the body shame before the audience could and that’s funny. And there was some heart there when you learn why she did it.

I’ve been pretty outspoken on my dislike for McCarthy’s ongoing bashing of trans people as well as her generalized homophobic content on “Mike and Molly” – Identity Thief has several jokes and The Heat had one. Then an episode of Mike and Molly aired where the cast just decimated the LGBTQ community. So I refused to promote this movie and only went to see it to see for myself if there was content. I had previously asked GLAAD and the promoters. All I could get was references to the lesbian storyline.

Note – a storyline about lesbians played by heterosexual actors does not offset the harm done by multiple incidents of bashing the trans community. In case that wasn’t clear.

So, let’s talk about that. Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh play an interracial older lesbian couple with a ton of money and several “pearls” of wisdom to share. They were fine. I hope to someday be invited to a lesbian party like the own they through. With them. Ahem.

But, Bates existed mostly to smack Tammy upside the head with much needed advice. And then inexplicably she and Oh were part of the final scene. But other than implying with a long sigh that McCarthy understands how hard it is to be a lesbian, they aren’t really integral to the story or certainly McCarthy’s ongoing queer bashing.

I think a more believable ending would have been Tammy moving to Louisville to take a job in one of Bates’ pet stores. An entry level job where she has a chance to prove herself. And they could have done a really funny homage to the opening scene where Tammy tries to give mouth to mouth to a deer she stunned on a local road by putting her in the “wildlife and bird seed” department, retelling that story to customers and driving people crazy but in a new lovable Tammy sort of way.

Tammy  just falls flat. It isn’t original, it isn’t funny and it doesn’t elevate McCarthy into the pantheon of revolutionary comedians who made their body part of their comedy.

I say rent “Bridesmaids” or “Gilmore Girls” and hope that McCarthy finds her way back to smart humor soon.


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