Tammy is a very personal project for Melissa McCarthy. Not only does she star in the R-rated comedy, but she co-wrote it with husband Ben Falcone, who directed the film and has a small role as her ornery employer.
McCarthy plays the titular character, a small-town gal who loses her job, finds her husband cheating with the woman next door (Toni Collette) and is, to put it mildly, down on her luck. After Tammy hits a deer and totals her car, she looks to her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) for help turning things around. The way to do this, they decide, is to take a road trip, heading in the general vicinity of Niagara Falls.
But this labor of love isn't getting a lot of love from the critics. The New York Times' Manohla Dargis calls it McCarthy's "least funny comedy," and Variety's Justin Chang calls Tammy a "well-meaning personal project that never rises above the level of amiable mediocrity..."
Time's Richard Corliss calls Tammy "a little comedy that flops in big ways," snarking, "In film schools of the future, professors will teach Tammy as an object lesson in Making Everything Go Wrong." It has "a group of ridiculously overqualified actors," which includes McCarthy, Sarandon, Collette as well as Kathy Bates, Alison Janney, Dan Akroyd and Sandra Oh, and a slapstick script that gives them "nothing to do," Corliss writes. "
Still, though, McCarthy remains "a performer we can trust to deliver laughs even when they barely exist on the page," writes Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune. "Tammy at least lets McCarthy and Susan Sarandon run the show...But the movie shoves McCarthy and Sarandon in a car together quickly, without much in the way of expository set-up."
Forbes' Mark Hughes, who recently penned a glowing critical review of Transformers: Age of Extinction, is much gentler with the film. He writes the film shows McCarthy "at her best, frank and raw but in a much more honest way than we've seen before" and reasons that the much-maligned "jokes and plot are tools in service to the characters."
You be the judge. Tammy hits theaters Friday.