Tammy (2014)

Info SidebarTammy (Melissa McCarthy) is an overweight slob who suffers one miserable day and decides to leave town. On the way to work, she hits a deer (the deer is so obviously animated by computers that one has to wonder where all the prop masters have disappeared to). Her Toyota Corolla is wrecked. She gets fired from her job at Topper Jacks (her boss is played by McCarthy’s husband and co-writer, Ben Falcone, who also directs). She returns home and discovers her movie husband (Nat Faxon) is faithfully seeing their next door neighbour (Toni Collette). In a temper, she grabs her stuff and walks two doors down to her mother’s house where, luckily for the script, her alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon) also lives.

This has happened before, her mother (Allison Janney) says. Tammy always storms out of town when things go bad, only to return some time later. Now she really wants to leave. Desperately. Unfortunately, so does her grandmother, who still owns her dead husband’s Cadillac and $6,700 and says there’s no way in hell Tammy’s going to take the car without taking her too. Sure, $6,700 is heaps of money. Let’s all go on road trips. But Tammy is the kind of movie where $6,700 will not get you far. Before long, a lot of it goes to buying a broken jet ski. And then some more goes to bail money because, let’s face it, you can’t have a road movie without some jail time.

Oh, and of course, Tammy and the grandmother meet an approachable father/son couple at a bar one night. The father (Gary Cole) is all drunk and aroused, but that’s okay, because so is the grandmother. She’s always drunk and aroused. They spend the night in the back seat of the Cadillac.

The son (Mark Duplass) thinks Tammy’s a little weird, but that’s something the screenplay can easily fix. A few more chance meetings, a handful of awkward situations in which the son can sympathise with Tammy and remind her how beautiful and loveable she is, and they’ll be kissing under the showers of Niagara Falls in no time.

There’s also a robbery of Topper Jacks. The grandmother’s in jail. Tammy can’t bail her out, so she slips a paper bag over her head, scrunches up another to look like it’s concealing a gun, and storms into the restaurant. The hold up, shall we say, doesn’t go smoothly. But then, what else were we expecting? Considering Tammy got fired from a Topper Jacks, this robbery is kinda like poetic justice. Well, at least it is to her.

And then Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh make an extended appearance as a resilient and affluent lesbian couple. Bates loves to blow things up, she admits. She blows up the Cadillac. Oh doesn’t do very much. They provide a shelter for the grandmother and Tammy, who have become fugitives. They must also be the presidents of the local LGBT society, because the Independence Day party they throw embraces more lesbian couples than I think they know (the following morning, half the guests are still in the house).

Oh, happy day! Tammy learns about life and its hardships. She gets her man, a new job and an apartment. The grandmother continues drinking, and everyone’s all right with that. All is good in the world of Tammy. And then the words “The End” flash across the screen, which usually means it’s the end. But obviously the meaning is lost on Ben Falcone, because the movie starts up again.


Best Moment | Tammy trying to lock the freezer of Topper Jacks with a wooden spoon.

Worst Moment | Everything else.

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