According to a lot of what's been written about her, Melissa McCarthy is a sort of "everywoman," the rare down-to-earth movie star with non-runway looks to whom women can relate. Her latest character, in Tammy, follows the now-familiar McCarthy pattern of crude, rude, sloppy, and reckless.

Co-written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone (who also directed), Tammy is not the best entry in McCarthy's oeuvre. Its flimsy road-trip storyline and rambling jokes rarely call for belly laughs. But it is a fascinating study in the new McCarthyism: the idea that women relate best to a woman who is a hot mess.

Tammy is the sort of character who guns a jet ski directly into a dock with people standing on it, downs a six pack while driving circles in a field, and follows a man to the bathroom assuming he dropped a "hint." She's less educated and less forthright than McCarthy's breakout role as Megan in Bridesmaids. And she's less likely to pistol-whip people than her role in last summer's female buddy-cop movie The Heat. But otherwise, McCarthy continues to hit the same notes all over again, while earning praise for her brave and hilarious portrayal of a woman who definitely does not have it all together.

But is it honest? Or is McCarthy perpetuating another cliché about women: that we are all secretly a disheveled wreck-in-waiting, and that letting it "all hang out" is the only way to be happy?

In this line of logic, every woman sees themselves—at least internally—as a little bit Tammy, so admitting as much is authentic and real. "I think there's a little Tammy in everybody," McCarthy told reporters at the film's premiere, according ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Our Rating
1 Star - Weak
Average Rating
(7 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (For language including sexual references.)
Directed By
Ben Falcone
Run Time
1 hour 37 minutes
Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates
Theatre Release
July 02, 2014 by Warner Bros.
Browse All Movie Reviews By: