A Buzzed Review: Tammy
Normally I could see a Melissa McCarthy movie stone cold sober and laugh my ass off. But for this special event, a movie starring her that was also written by her, I took some massive tokes off my Shatter Tank and let the concentrated Pineapple Express take an express route to my brain, priming my pump for the fun “freedom weekend” festivities of watching one of my favorite funny ladies set the silver screen on fire. This fourth of July weekend Tammy would be the fireworks for me, and fingers crossed, a barrel full of ab-aching laughs.
As I emerged from the theatre I found myself just coming down from my high but feeling high on my good mood. Again, in the spirit of Bridesmaids, our girl Mel nailed this comedy to the wall, and just kept on kicking it. I was thoroughly entertained by both the marijuana vapor stick and the cinema schtick as McCarthy mixes it up on screens with unlikely quipping partner Susan Sarandon. With a twist on the buddy/road trip comedy this wild rides sees alcoholic grandmother and way way way down on her luck granddaughter taking to the open road in an attempt to capture something better “out there”, dramatizing this universal urge we all share to see the unseen, explore the unknown and just generally eek a little bit more out of life than it sometimes seems willing to give.
They delivered on the gut-wrenching laughter in sequences where Tammy, in some of McCarthy’s funnier moments, attempts CPR on a moose, tries to beat up the under-used Toni Collette only to land flat on her ass, and slides in a hilariously timed drunken stooper off the hood of her grandmother’s car. The movie also delivered some darker comedy moments that had me feeling like I was looking at a grotesque house of horrors display as we are dared to laugh when she shamelessly hits on clearly uninterested men and is flatly rejected, or when her grandmother locks her out and she resigns herself to eating donuts on the walkway in front of the motel room door. It would be funny if it weren’t so damned sad.
I started to feel I may have gotten myself into a situation where the laughs were over and the sadness was about to be heaped on in an attempt to win McCarthy some kind of award (after all she wrote this too and they’ll give anyone an oscar now-a-days, hello, Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side anyone?). I started to get paranoid, not from the shatter stick but because the movie wasn’t half over yet. Bullock died her hair grey for her oscar (or more likely she just stopped dying it black) and McCarthy was sporting a blonde weave in Tammy so, shit, maybe she was going after her trophy too. Suddenly things take a turn and Granny ends up in the slammer. Uh oh, it’s getting sadder. Then in perhaps one of the more side-splitting helpings of laughter this movie serves up McCarthy’s Tammy in poignant selfless ridiculousness robs a fast food joint with a paper bag covering her finger and pretending it’s a gun in order to bail her granny out. The highlight comes when she tells the employees to freeze and attempts to hurl herself over the counter with the athletic prowess of a bolder rolling down a mountain. After three attempts she finally manages to get on the counter and slowly rolls over the counter while yammering “don’t even think about trying anything.” Comedy gold.
Okay things were back on track and the laughs, with just the right amount of make-you-think moments about seizing life and making positive changes, just kept on coming. In the scene-stealing role of lesbian entrepreneur and grandma’s long-time friend Lenore, Kathy Bates enters and kicks this adventure into high gear. Within two minutes of her introduction we get our first of a few explosions the movie has to offer. She helps now-fugitive from the law Tammy set her car on fire with the joy of a little boy who discovers matches. She gets under your skin and is the perfect counter balance to McCarthy’s sad sac predicament. And in a more poignant moment it is Bates who finally kicks Tammy’s ass with the loving truth, thus, as we all hope the loving truth would do for us, setting her on a more positive and harmonious path.
McCarthy and Sarandon are a delight as the bickering duo who evolve into the loving family they always wanted to be. The film tugged at my heart, made me laugh, and told me to take responsibility for the choices I make in my life.
Maybe I’m just stoned, but this turned out to be a pretty great afternoon at the movies. Tell me what you think in the comments below.
MY SCORE: 4 out of 5 buds. I’d give it five out of five but it didn’t actually make me cry. You want five buds then you gottta get some tears outta me, cuz I like to cry in movies so I’m not even gonna fight it. A Good Buzz