In the world of comedy, Melissa McCarthy is a force to be reckoned with, and her unapologetic, slapstick sense of humour has earned her a dedicated fan base. Be it Gilmore Girls or Spy, McCarthy is a charmer on the screen. But that doesn’t mean there are no duds in her filmography.
Her 2014 film Tammy is currently making waves on Netflix, at fourth place in the Netflix US top ten list and an impressive eighth spot globally. Directed by Ben Falcone, who also co-wrote the script with McCarthy, the film stars McCarthy in the titular role, supported by a talented ensemble cast which includes Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, Dan Aykroyd, and Kathy Bates!
Tammy follows the tumultuous journey of the eponymous character, played by Melissa McCarthy, a down-on-her-luck woman who, after losing her job and her marriage on the same day, embarks on a chaotic road trip with her grandmother, portrayed by Sarandon. The film blends McCarthy’s signature crass humour with moments of touching vulnerability as Tammy navigates her way through a series of misadventures and personal revelations.
Upon its initial release, Tammy faced harsh criticism from many film critics. Some reviewers found the film’s humour to be too crude, the storyline to be overly formulaic, and the film overall to be absolutely uneven in tone. The Sunday Times awarded Tammy a one-star, writing how it is “a typical summer-house movie: film stars do because they fancy a fourth home in Napa.”
The success of Tammy on Netflix is not an anomaly but rather a testament to the enduring popularity of trashy comedies. These films, often characterised by their irreverent and often vulgar humour, tend to divide critics and audiences. While some critics may turn up their noses, fans of the genre find comfort in it. They appreciate that these movies offer a break from the seriousness of everyday life.
You can catch the trailer of Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy here: