An irrepressible force of comic mayhem, Melissa McCarthy grabbed the wheel from her co-stars in Bridesmaids and The Heat – and drove away with the movies. This solo vehicle finds her in the driving seat from the start, but this time she ends up in the ditch.

Co-written by McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone, here making his directing debut, the film casts her as the eponymous Tammy, a bungling blue-collar loser who goes on a road trip with her rebellious boozy grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon, grey-haired but with an impish glint in her eye) after losing her car, job and husband on the same day. Their destination is supposedly Niagara Falls, but they are soon hopelessly off course, and so is the movie, which lurches and judders from one underwhelming episode to the next.

Tammy hits a deer with her car, totals a jet ski at a lake resort and knocks off a fast-food joint wearing a paper-bag over her head as a mask. Pearl guzzles beer, pops pills and hooks up with a randy stranger (Gary Cole) at a country-western bar. In between, mawkishness inevitably rears its head, and sheds the odd tear.

The scenes go on far too long but McCarthy never seems to hit her comic stride.  And the lack of laughs means you’ll probably spend your time puzzling how short and squat McCarthy, age 43, could possibly be the daughter of the tall and slim 54-year-old Allison Janney, let alone 67-year-old Sarandon’s granddaughter.


Certificate 15. Runtime 97 mins. Directors Ben Falcone.