2013 was an uneven year for Melissa McCarthy comedy vehicles in terms of their quality, yet the actress’ starring efforts released in that time (Identity Thief and The Heat) both prospered at the box office. If nothing else, those films demonstrate that the comedian – previously known for playing the funny support in TV series Gimore Girls and Samantha Who before she became the co-lead on the hit comedy show Mike & Molly – tends to always shine, no matter what sub-par material she’s been saddled with.
That said, if the upcoming summer comedy Tammy fails to impress, then McCarthy will have to share more of the blame for any shortcomings. The comedy is headlined and was co-written by the actress and her husband/actor Ben Falcone (the latter is also making his feature directing debut here), so it will throughly be a film that was designed with the Bridesmaids scene-stealer’s brand of humor in mind.
Fortunately, Tammy looks funny so far, judging by the newly-released teaser trailer. The comedy set piece featured in the preview – McCarthy as the bedraggled Tammy decides to rob a fast food joint called Toppy Jacks – is pretty straightforward, though the footage doesn’t provide any context for her actions in the film. As it turns out, the plot of Tammy is set in motion when McCarthy’s character gets fired from said tacky fast-food chain and heads home early, only to inadvertently expose her husband’s dalliance with their neighbor. Thus, her ill-advised decision to become a criminal, armed with a brown paper bag on her head (*insert obligatory Shia LaBeouf joke here*).
Apparently, her first law-breaking venture doesn’t prove all that profitable, as the funds for Tammy’s subsequent wild road trip end up being provided instead by her booze-loving grandmother (Susan Sarandon), who tags along for the ride. The list of supporting cast members in the film includes Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Coven), Allison Janney (The Way, Way Back), Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed), Dan Aykroyd (Behind the Candelabra) and Mr. McCarthy himself, Ben Falcone.
In addition to a talented cast and leading lady, Tammy boasts a road trip premise that – while it doesn’t necessarily read as a fresh twist or subversion of the genre – at least seems to have a human core (i.e. Tammy’s unhinged antics are fueled by feelings of pain and desperation) that is sometimes lacking and/or trivialized in slapstick-friendly road trip comedies. Chances are good that McCarthy will be as much a source of heart as she is laughter in Tammy, much like the late John Candy was in John Hughes’ Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
Tammy opens in U.S. theaters on July 2nd, 2014.