If you’ve seen one Melissa McCarthy movie, you’ve seen them all. What was fresh, hilarious and worthy of an Oscar nod in Bridesmaids
was already old hat by the time Identity Thief
came around last year. It’s now a distant memory thanks to Tammy
. Fired from her job at a fast-food joint and rendered a fool by her adulterous husband, the film's namesake embarks on an outlaw road trip with her alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon, who’s 24 years McCarthy’s senior). The plot meanders lackadaisically from there—radio sing-alongs and physical comedy abound—and McCarthy is careful not to tweak the boisterous onscreen avatar that’s made her famous. The script, by McCarthy and her husband/director Ben Falcone, was clearly written with this low-effort approach in mind. Tammy’s crass exterior is a defense mechanism meant to mask her insecurity, as it tends to be in movies like this, and the sob story explaining her tense relationship with her grandma is such an afterthought that it might as well have been excised. But hey, female-led comedies remain anomalies, and at least there’s no bait-and-switch: For better and (much more often) for worse, Tammy
is exactly what you expect it to be.