A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tammy is an irreverent, uneven buddy comedy that's heavy on depressing moments, primarily because the main character (Melissa McCarthy) seems lost and bears the brunt of the film's jokes. Even her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) forgets that she has feelings. It may be too bitter a pill for tweens and young teens. There's also lots of swearing (including everything from "dammit" to "motherf--ker") and drinking; one character is an alcoholic who behaves cruelly when she's drunk and also relies on prescription drugs obtained illegally. It's implied that a couple has sex in the back of a car; nothing sensitive is shown, but the car rocks. Also sexual language/references/discussions.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
TAMMY is at the lowest of low points: She just lost her job at the fast food restaurant Topper Jack, only to come home to discover her husband having a romantic dinner with their neighbor. Enraged, Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) joins forces with her grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), an alcoholic who's sick of living with her own grown child, and leaves her small town to head for Niagara Falls, a place that Pearl has always wanted to see in person. But along the way, several snafus erupt, one involving a heist.
Is it any good?
Frankly, this movie's a mess. If Tammy reminds you of a certain film about two women who take to the open road on a search for their authentic selves, you aren't alone; this really should have been titled Tammy and Louise, a not-so-big leap considering that Sarandon plays a similar "agitator" part in both films. The big difference is that Thelma and Louise was complex and had depth. But with Tammy, you get the idea that the filmmakers just wanted to see how many jokes McCarthy and the rest of the cast could make, never mind that some of them were duds (and make cruel fun of the main character). The writing veers from earnest to downright mean, with little notice of where the mood could swing at any given time. You'll find yourself laughing, then suddenly cringing.
Buddy comedies work when there's chemistry and rapport between the two buddies. Tammy and Pearl are like oil and water, and their relationship and -- more important -- their subsequent bonding, doesn't feel rooted in anything relatable. Neither are the supposed romances they start up on the road.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about comedies with unpleasant/unsympathetic lead characters. What's the appeal/point? Does it work for this movie? If not, why?
Why can't Tammy get it together? Why doesn't she stand up for herself after someone puts her down? Is being forgiving a flaw?
Is anyone in this movie a role model? Why or why not?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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