Despite being what I consider to be probably the strongest movie on this list, Tammy has its issues. The biggest issue, the one that seems to have irked the majority of critics who did not care for Melissa McCarthy’s first written feature, is that it’s a difficult film to categorize, and therefore a difficult film to promote. As a result, it was pushed as a buddy road comedy with McCarthy and Susan Sarandon, who play a granddaughter and grandmother, which in itself is problematic, but I couldn’t rule out that this was done intentionally and, if so, hilariously. The problem is that most of the humor is a little bit subtle and scaled back like this, occurring in details rather than the over the top kind of stuff we’re used to, and have come to expect, from McCarthy.
So on one level it’s fair of people to have these expectations, but at the same time, the movie does some really sweet and novel things. The relationship between McCarthy and the Mark Duplass character is certainly one of the most genuine and endearing matches in a studio comedy for some time, akin to some of Judd Apatow’s underrated romantic sensibilities.
What worked most for me, though, was that, despite some of the major set pieces not standing up entirely, the character elements made it not necessarily funny, but fun. Funny in a fun-ish way. Like the kind of humor you smile at but doesn’t make you spit out your Mountain Dew. It’s also a first feature from McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone, who directed Tammy, so I’m willing to forgive some of the flaws and appreciate things like its stellar female-centric cast and story, a rarity for which, as the next few entries may indicate, I’m a bit of a sucker.