Film Reviews

TAMMY

By • Jul 7th, 2014 •

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I want more Tammy. I want the franchise, the book, the FX series and the musical.,

The most common female size in America is size 14. According to an article posted on Women’s Wear Daily online on January 24, 2011, “Since 2005, the average dress size in America has grown to 14 from 12, while the average bra cup size has graduated to 36C from 34B a decade earlier.” If roughly 60 percent of the population is considered overweight, and half are women, roughly 93 million are female in the double-digit size range. (For the record, I am a size 4. Or, a size 2. Since size “2” is really a “4”, “4” is really a “6”, “6” is really an “8”, an “8” is really a “10”, and so on and so on.)

Why should Melissa McCarthy be a movie star? Because no one looks like Nicole Kidman. (Remember the absurd casting when Kidman played a janitor in THE HUMAN STAIN?) McCarthy doesn’t hate herself and she is representing a huge – no pun intended – percentage of the female movie audience. By the way, these women have sex, marry and have children. They are everywhere but starring in movies.

Double-digit size women do not live in New York City and certainly not in Paris. So TAMMY takes place in the mid-West where most women who look like Melissa McCarthy live. Tammy (McCarthy) works in a fast food burger joint in Murphysboro, Ill. and when her car hits a deer one morning, she is late for work. She’s fired by her boss Keith (Ben Falcone) and goes home to find her husband Greg (Nat Faxon) having a romantic dinner with their neighbor Missi (Toni Colette).

Tammy cries and packs a bag and heads two doors down to her mother’s (Allison Janney) house, where her grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), is also sick and tired of middle-American life. Pearl’s claim to sexual liberation was the six months she spent as the girlfriend of the lesser-known Allman Brother. Grandma wants “adventure” and she has $6,800 in cash to finance a trip to Niagara Falls. She also has something else Tammy needs – a car that runs.

Off they go and on a stop at a bar, Pearl seduces horn-dog Earl (Gary Cole) while Tammy tries out her sexual appeal on Earl’s babysitter, his put-upon shy son, Bobby (Mark Duplass). Pearl not only enjoys sex but she likes to drink.

Is sex over 65 despicable? If you are old and are not looking for a ring, is it okay to have a non-committal one-night stand? Pearl thinks it is okay to have a sex life well after puberty.

Before stopping by to see Pearl’s very rich lesbian cousin Lenore (Kathy Bates) and her partner, Susanne (Sandra Oh), they get arrested. Tammy has to get bail money for Pearl and knows exactly where to find it – the town’s burger joint.

Written by McCarthy and Ben Falcone and directed by Falcone, I certainly was not offended, that considering the actresses true ages, Janney as McCarthy’s mother and Sarandon as McCarthy’s grandmother, was not realistic. They are acting. They choose those roles and the paychecks that went with it. No one complained when TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE had Amy Adams playing Clint Eastwood’s daughter instead of his more-likely age-wise granddaughter. Remember when Denise Richards played nuclear scientist Christmas Jones in the 1999 James Bond movie THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH in a tiny tank top and tiny shorts? That was more unfathomable then Sarandon as McCarthy’s grandmother. Sarandon does not cheat and plays a grandmother. Bravo for her. She even wears unattractive grandmother clothes.

Falcone and McCarthy are a great team. Comedy is supposed to be broad and outrageous. Remember THE HANGOVER? No one wants a sentimental, moral message R-rated comedy. I laughed out loud and enjoyed Tammy’s belief in her sex appeal. Plus-size women do consider themselves sexy, so it must have some basis in real life.

McCarthy shows a wonderful range of emotion and I was completely charmed by her as Tammy. Especially heartwarming was Duplass who believably showed a good reason for being attracted to Tammy – she’s full of life! I also liked Cole as a randy old guy – they are out there in bars across America and should be hitting on grandmothers instead of the young women they unrealistically hit on.Member of Boadcast Film Critics Association: www.bfca.org

Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society:www.lvfcs.org

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at masauu@aol.com.

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