Melissa McCarthy Wastes All Of Tammy Reminding You That She’s Fat

Melissa McCarthy in Tammy June 2014I saw the movie Tammy last night, and I’m gonna tell you right off the bat that I didn’t much care for it. I love me some Melissa McCarthy, but just because you can do hilarious, nuanced acting in a movie doesn’t mean that your first attempt at writing a movie will go the same way.

But I don’t really want to talk about all that. I’m sure you can find a regular review of this movie anywhere on the internets from writers far more eloquent than I. I want to talk about two things: the age differences, and how insistent Melissa McCarthy is on her characters being fat first and anything else second.

First, the age differences. This won’t take but a minute, but it was so goddamn frustrating that I just need someone to hear me out. THIS FAMILY IS MADE UP OF IMPOSSIBLY YOUNG BREEDERS. Melissa McCarthy plays the daughter, and she’s forty-three in real life. Her mother is played by the supremely wonderful Allison Janney, who is fifty-four. So that’s an eleven-year old mother, in case anyone was keeping track.

But it gets worse, because Allison Janney’s mother is played by Susan Sarandon, who in real life is sixty-seven and lit’rally glowing from within throughout this entire film. So between Melissa and her grandmother we have but a twenty-four year age gap, which I can tell you right now, is pretty goddamn distracting for ninety-six minutes.

But anyway, that issue barely compares with my larger problem with the movie, which is how important Melissa McCarthy makes her character’s weight. Melissa got to write this film herself, with her real-life husband Ben Falcone, and the two of them wrote into the script that Melissa’s own grandmother calls her a fat loser and a ‘cheeseburger’. With all the available character traits, storylines, and emotions available, Melissa chose to make ‘being fat’ her own (and pretty much only!) defining quality.

And she’s welcome to do that if she wants to, obviously, because it’s her movie. I just don’t know how much it’s doing to prevent people speaking about her weight like it’s a handicap, since in this case it seems to have made her incapable of seeing the other facets of her own personality. Why couldn’t her character be a normal, developed character who also happens to be overweight? If she was writing the part for herself, why couldn’t she do so on the basis of her comedic talents instead of her shape and size? Doesn’t Hollywood do that enough? It just feels like a missed opportunity to break down misconceptions instead of…building them up even higher.

You can be fat and also be interesting, talented, hilarious, complicated, kind, inspirational, strong, beautiful, valuable, and on and on and on. Melissa herself is living proof of that — so why isn’t her character?

(Photo: Michael Tackett – © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc)


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    • Alana Vincenza

      UGH It’s not like I expected much from this movie anyway, but the fact that it’s one big fat joke just ruins everything even more. Hopefully the next movie she writes will just star a fat woman and not be about how the woman is fat. She just seems so much better than this.

    • Lily Savage

      I had a feeling that a majority of Tammy’s would be all about Melissa McCarthy’s weight, but I still hoped that it’d surprise me like The Heat did (a movie I was roped into seeing with my friends, but absolutely loved). She has such a broad comedic range that it’s really frustrating she feels like she has to resort to fat jokes to keep viewers entertained.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I loved The Heat! I was surprised as well, but it’s one of my favorite movies now.

    • AnnH

      Actors are not always their own best friends ; what Melissa needs is to find a writer and/or director who wants to use her skills, and stick to working with that person. Kinda like the partnership between Burton and Depp, or Scorcese and DiCaprio, or what have you (loyalty happens a lot more on TV but I hear Mike & Molly is still on ? so that large ship has sailed and she’s still attached to that). I can’t remember who made that weird movie The Nines, she was brilliant in it. Whoever that was, Melissa, find that writer, and stalk them until they write something just as great for you. We won’t tell anyone, just do it, Melissa.

    • Alyssa

      No body believes me when I say that Melissa Mccarthy plays the same character in every movie (with slight variations) and that is why I don’t care for her, or rather, movies with her in them (even though she does choose her roles, but I guess ya gotta work). She was sooo cute on Glimore Girls.

      • TJ

        Check out the trailer for St. Vincent with McCarthy and Bill Murray. She looks like she’s going back to her “Sookie” roots in this movie. I loved her in Gilmore Girls and look forward to seeing her in a movie that shows more of her acting range!

      • Jenni

        Watched it this AM! I’m ignoring the fact that she would never leave her son alone with this crazy old vet and getting very into it already!

      • Alyssa

        I’ll check it out, thanks!

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