ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
75°
Mostly Cloudy
H 86° L 75°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 75°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    86°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    80°
    Evening
    Thunderstorms. H 86° L 75°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

News
Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon provide 'Tammy's' comic fuel
Close

Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon provide 'Tammy's' comic fuel

Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon provide 'Tammy's' comic fuel
Photo Credit: Michael Tackett
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Melissa McCarthy in a scene from "Tammy." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Michael Tackett)

Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon provide 'Tammy's' comic fuel

Small favors, but in "Tammy" we have a less grating road-trip comedy than "Identity Thief," the one Melissa McCarthy did with Jason Bateman, and a more deliberately heartwarming vehicle than "The Heat," featuring McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.

In McCarthy, we have a performer we can trust to deliver laughs even when they barely exist on the page. The "Mike & Molly" star and Oscar nominee (for "Bridesmaids") produced and co-wrote her latest with her husband, Ben Falcone, who also directed. The movie doesn't look like anything special. The number of reaction shots designed to cue audience adoration could choke a horse. Yet matters of visual craft, story logic and tonal indecision are nothing up against a diversion that pounds its heroine with adversity while allowing her a romantic prospect in the form of a nice, gentle fellow, in this case played by Mark Duplass, whose job in "Tammy" is mainly to beam and crack up at his co-star.

This is what it's like most of a typical movie year, only with the genders switched. The overwhelming percentage of comedies are made, driven and consumed by guys; the female roles limit actresses either to decoration or bland, recessive supportive background maternal figures. "Tammy" at least lets McCarthy and Susan Sarandon run the show. You don't believe for a second that Sarandon is this protagonist's broken-down, alcoholic grandmother. (Allison Janney plays Tammy's mother.) But the movie shoves McCarthy and Sarandon in a car together quickly, without much in the way of expository set-up.

Brash yet insecure, Tammy lives somewhere in downstate Illinois (the film was shot in North Carolina), and when we meet her while she's having an epically lousy day. Bang, her old car hits a deer on the way to the fast-food joint from which she's about to be fired. Boom, she arrives home early to find her husband (Nat Faxon) dallying with a neighbor (Toni Collette). Tammy and her grandmother embark on a much-needed escape, vaguely in the direction of Niagara Falls, so the older woman can cross the waterfall off her personal bucket list.

The bulk of the story unfolds in Missouri, where grandmother's cousin, played by Kathy Bates, has a huge riverside estate, and lives contentedly with her lover, portrayed by Sandra Oh. A 4th of July party provides the film with its centerpiece, as Sarandon's wisecracker gets sloshed enough to humiliate Tammy in public. Family secrets spill like knocked-over beer. The movie exploits heavy drinking and working-class-shlub cliches for fun, until it suits the plot's dramatic confrontations to play them for pathos.

The best bits care not for plot, or forwarding the action or any other overrated screenwriting element. There's hardly a whisper of politics or social satire in "Tammy," but when McCarthy's working-class doyenne, filing up the car at a gas station, mutters sarcastically: "Four bucks a gallon? Thanks, Obamacare!" the film blessedly makes room for a sliver of nonsense. My favorite moment has nothing to with story, or even the title character: It's a shot, held longer than usual (director Falcone has a few things to learn about pacing and cutting less frantically) depicting Bates on the dance floor, busting some moves resembling someone dealing with terrible back pain. As for Collette and Oh, they have next-to-nothing or nothing at all to say, to the point that you wonder if these characters are supposed to be mute, or mimes in training.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A 2-year-old child was critically injured after being backed over by a vehicle around Midnight.   According to JSO a family member momentarily lost track of her child while leaving the Mathews Crossing Apartments on Century 21 Drive near Atlantic Blvd.  The child was backed over by the vehicle.  Rescue arrived and rushed the child to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.  Traffic homicide detectives are now investigating. 
  • A 14-year-old girl fell 25 feet from a gondola ride at Six Flags Amusement Park in Queensbury, New York, Saturday night as a group of park guests gathered under her to help break her fall. >> Read more trending news The “Sky Ride” was stopped at the park about 55 miles north of Albany when the accident happened, according to CBS News. The teenager was on the ride with a child relative when she fell from the two-person car, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.  The ride was stopped after the operator was told of a rider in distress, CBS reported. The video shows the girl somehow slipped through the safety bar, which briefly held her aloft while she dangled in the air. The teen from Delaware struck a tree before landing in the crowd, which had gathered to catch her. She was treated at the park, then taken to an area hospital. >> Related: Girl, 11, dies after falling out of ride at water park Park officials said the ride was working properly. “There does not appear to be any malfunction of the ride, but we have closed the attraction until the a thorough review can be completed,” USA Today reported park officials said in a statement. Another person was injured as he was trying to help catch the girl.
  • A rabbi is among several people in New Jersey who were arrested Monday in raids by federal and state authorities in a multimillion-dollar welfare fraud investigation. >> Read more trending news Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin and seven others are being charged, accused of taking public assistance and defrauding the government of $1.3 million over recent years, law enforcement officials told the Asbury Park Press. Investigators said that the accused had plans that, a source told the Asbury Park Press, “rival the most sophisticated of financial frauds.” Officials said the people involved under-reported their income. In exchange, they were able to qualify for Medicaid, Section 8 housing assistance, food stamps, Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income, the Asbury Park Press reported. Officials said the accused, who are four married couples, made thousands of dollars more a year than they told program officials. Investigators said they traced illegal money transfers, along with records from private schools for tuition. Law enforcement officials said they believe that Monday’s arrest will be the first in a series of arrests in a larger fraud ring.
  • Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and the world today. What to know now: 1. Health care vote: Republican leaders are working to corral enough votes to pass their version of a health care bill which is set for a vote on Thursday. President Donald Trump expressed confidence that the GOP has enough votes to pass the bill and kill the Affordable Care Act. 'We have a very good plan,' Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday. In order for the bill to pass, Republicans can lose only two votes.  2. Obama criticism: Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-California), the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, criticized President Barack Obama over the weekend, saying he should have done more when he found out that Russia was trying to meddle in the U.S. election. 'I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier, needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier, and that was a very serious mistake,' Schiff told CNN. 3. Takata files for bankruptcy: Takata Corp., the company that made air bag inflators that have been linked to the deaths of at least 16 people, has filed for bankruptcy. Key Safety Systems, a U.S.-based company, is said to be buying Takata’s assets for $1.6 billion. 4. BET Awards: Remy Ma won best female hip hop artist during the annual BET Awards Sunday. Ma, who was released from jail in 2014 after being convicted of playing a part in a shooting, told the audience, “You can make mistakes and come back.” Chance the Rapper won a humanitarian award, Bruno Mars won his first BET Award and '90s R&B groups New Edition and Xscape reunited to perform at the ceremony. 5. Supreme Court session ends: On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will end its 2017 session. Included in what could come Monday are decisions on President Trump’s travel ban, laws that ban direct taxpayer aid to churches and on whether the parents of a teenager can sue the federal Border Patrol agent who shot and killed him. Rumors are swirling that Justice Anthony Kennedy could be announcing his retirement today. Others say if Kennedy has decided to retire, he would not announce it until later in the summer. And one more Martin Shkreli goes on trial Monday for securities and wire fraud. Shkreli, also known as “Pharma Bro,” is accused of defrauding investors in MSMB Capital Management LLC and MSMB Healthcare LLC and misleading them about the financial health of his hedge funds. Shkreli has been roundly criticized for his cocky attitude, his boastful tweets and the fact that he raised the price of an AIDS medication overnight from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill.  In case you missed it

The Latest News Videos