Melissa McCarthy sells herself short as an unapologetic buffoon in Tammy - Isthmus

July 4, 2014 12:47 AM

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It's rare for audiences — so fickle, so prone to judge — to rally behind a single movie star for very long, but ever since Melissa McCarthy's coming-out party in 2011's Bridesmaids, she's basked in the benevolent glow of the people's goodwill. Fans of comedy like her because she's great at her craft, skilled with both physical and verbal comedy. Movie execs like her because she makes bank, in well-reviewed films and critically savaged ones alike. Feminists itching for more diverse representations of female body image in Hollywood pictures like her because she's not shaped like a No. 2 pencil with tits. In short: Most of us dig her. And we're rooting for her. What could possibly go wrong?

McCarthy's instincts at least were right when she selected Tammy, a modestly budgeted comedy cowritten with her husband, first-time director Ben Falcone. But what that unfettered creative control has wrought is not good. In fact, it's pretty awful. So much so that I half-heartedly hoped Tammy might ...

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