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Susan Sarandon & Melissa McCarthy in 'Tammy'
Michael Tackett / Warner Bros.

Susan Sarandon & Melissa McCarthy in 'Tammy'

When we look at Tammy as an example of a broader theme—that women don't really have it all together—this is problematic. The McCarthyism that women are basically an inherent mess doesn't leave much room for accomplishment.

The beauty of McCarthy's character in Bridesmaids is that she was both: ultra competent at the things she cared about, but unconcerned by the expectations of competence in more traditional areas. Ever since then, McCarthy has played a diminished version of the same character until, in Tammy, she's not even good at the drunk-driving, bank-robbing, hamburger-throwing skills the film boldly showcases.

Women are better off rejecting the idea that happiness requires only acceptance of our mess. Such logic idealizes blindness: to our faults, to room for change, the needs of other people, and goals beyond the physical.

Caveat Spectator

Tammy is rated R for consistent use of strong language and sexual references that include several frank discussions of sexual activities and an extended sequence in a car where two characters narrate their interaction as "first base" and "second base." A male and a female character spend the night together in a hotel room; sex is implied though not shown. Later, a character makes a lewd gesture with a stalk of celery while referring to the scene. Multiple characters engage in extramarital sex (off screen) and discuss it with others. One character flashes her boobs to a crowd (shown from the back). Several characters flip off others. There is an ongoing plotline involving lesbians, including an extended party scene. Grandma Pearl is an alcoholic who drinks from clearly labeled bottles in almost every scene. Two characters drive while drunk. Two underage teenagers attempt to obtain beer. A character also pretends to rob several people at gunpoint (without a real gun).

Alicia Cohn is a regular contributor to Christianity Today's Her.meneutics and freelance writer based in Denver. She tweets @aliciacohn.

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