Good intentions but barely raises a smile

Melissa McCarthy in Tammy. Photo: PA Photo/Warner Brothers
Melissa McCarthy in Tammy. Photo: PA Photo/Warner Brothers

Five years ago, Melissa McCarthy was a jobbing stand-up, juggling time between the US comedy circuit and acting work.

Then came Bridesmaids. McCarthy unleashed a comic whirlwind that has been blowing at gale force ever since.

Now, the innately lovable star produces, co-writes and headlines this brash, oestrogen-fuelled road movie, which sees her husband, actor Ben Falcone, venture behind the camera for his first stint in the director’s chair.

Alas, McCarthy’s golden touch doesn’t extend to scriptwriting because Tammy is a hotch-potch of half-formed characters and ideas lacking nuance and depth.

It’s fitting that a comedy about a forty-something woman on the brink of emotional meltdown should itself be a shambles but, as a viewing experience, Falcone’s inaugural offering is more pain than gain.

Tammy embarks on a road trip with her profanity-spewing, hard-drinking grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon), who has always wanted to visit Niagara Falls.

Clumsily scripted and poorly paced, Tammy huffs and puffs with good intentions but barely raises a smile.