Tammy (film)

Tammy is a 2014 American comedy film directed and co-written by Ben Falcone and produced, co-written by, and starring Melissa McCarthy as the title character. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, with Dan Aykroyd, and Kathy Bates. It was released on July 2, 2014.[4][5]

Theatrical release poster
Directed byBen Falcone
Produced by
Written by
  • Ben Falcone
  • Melissa McCarthy
Music byMichael Andrews
CinematographyRuss T. Alsobrook
Edited byMichael L. Sale
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • July 2, 2014 (2014-07-02)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
  • $20 million (gross)[2]
  • $16.4 million (net)[2]
Box office$100.5 million[3]

Although a box office success, grossing $100.5 million from a $20 million budget, it received highly negative reviews from critics with McCarthy and Sarandon receiving Razzie nominations for Worst Actress and Worst Supporting Actress respectively.


In Murphysboro, Illinois, Tammy Banks strikes a deer on the way to her job at the fast food restaurant Topper Jack's, damaging her vehicle; when she arrives, her supervisor, Keith Morgan, is forced to dismiss her from the restaurant. After her car breaks down on the way home on Illinois Route 13, she walks home to find her husband, Greg, eating a romantic meal with their neighbor, Missi. Tammy leaves in frustration and walks two doors down to her parents' house.

She tells her mother, Deb, about her plans to leave and takes her grandmother Pearl's Cadillac Seville. Pearl requests to come along. Tammy initially refuses but ultimately agrees when Pearl proves that she has a large sum of cash. Tammy has beer with Pearl, and the next morning they wake up near a park where Pearl convinces Tammy not to go back home. Pearl wants to go to Niagara Falls with Tammy since she hadn't gone as a child. Along the way the two stop in a bar in Louisville, Kentucky, Tammy meets Earl Tillman and his son Bobby, and Earl hooks up with Pearl. Tammy and Bobby begin to make a love connection as Pearl and Earl drunkenly make out in the car. Bobby gives Tammy his number to call him so he can pick up Earl. Back at the hotel, Tammy is forced to sleep outside. The next morning, Bobby picks up Earl, and the two leave. Tammy, infuriated with Pearl, leaves her, but returns after feeling guilty. Tammy and Pearl are arrested after Pearl gets caught buying a case of beer for two teenagers as well as shoplifting a pint of whiskey for herself. Tammy is released, but Pearl stays at the jail for possessing illegal prescription drugs.

To bail out Pearl, Tammy robs a Topper Jack's, where she converses with employees Becky (Sarah Baker) and Larry (Rich Williams). Finally having obtained the money, she rushes to the prison to bail Pearl out, but Bobby has already bailed her out. With the help of Pearl's wealthy lesbian cousin Lenore, they destroy the car to hide the evidence from the robbery. The two then stay at the home of Lenore and her wife, Susanne. At a 4th of July party thrown at the house, Pearl gets drunk and humiliates Tammy by making rude comments about her weight and appearance in front of all the guests. After Tammy runs off to the dock on the lake by the house, Lenore follows her with both comfort and some tough love.

Tammy brings coffee to Pearl, who is presumably asleep outside. After repeatedly trying to wake her, Pearl does not wake up and Tammy assumes she is dead. She, Lenore, and Susanne grieve Pearl's death, but Pearl suddenly awakens, much to everyone's shock. Pearl was actually unconscious due to the large amount of alcohol she drank the previous night. Tammy is relieved, and she tearfully demands Pearl to get help for her drinking problem. The ambulance arrives and takes Pearl to the hospital. The police arrive as well, and Tammy is arrested for her robbery of Topper Jack's.

Tammy is released from prison 38 days later, and her father, Don, picks her up. He offers to kill Greg for her, though she declines. Returning home, Tammy finds that Greg and Missi have packed Tammy's belongings. She and Greg agree to an amicable divorce. She walks down the street to her parents' place and finds out that Pearl is now living in Brookview Retirement Home. Tammy goes to Brookview to break her out, but Pearl is actually happy there. She has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at the home, and she is dating one of the men there. However, they do still take a trip to Niagara Falls.

At Niagara Falls, Bobby surprises Tammy there and they kiss. Tammy tells him about her choice to move to Louisville to get a fresh start in life and get closer to him. Missi leaves Greg to be with Keith and Tammy befriends Becky and Larry.


  • Melissa McCarthy as Tammy Banks, the titular character
  • Susan Sarandon as Pearl Balzen, Tammy's grandmother
  • Kathy Bates as Lenore, Pearl's cousin
  • Allison Janney as Deb, Tammy's mother
  • Dan Aykroyd as Don, Tammy's father
  • Mark Duplass as Bobby Tillman, Tammy's love interest
  • Gary Cole as Earl Tillman, Bobby's father and Pearl's love interest
  • Nat Faxon as Greg Banks, Tammy's husband
  • Toni Collette as Missi Jenkins, Tammy and Greg's neighbor and Greg's love interest
  • Sandra Oh as Susanne, Lenore's wife
  • Ben Falcone (McCarthy's real-life husband) as Keith Morgan, Tammy's boss who fires her at a Topper Jack's Fast Food
  • Sarah Baker as Becky, an employee at the Topper Jack's, where Tammy commits a robbery
  • Rich Williams as Larry, an employee at the Topper Jack's, where Tammy commits a robbery
  • Mark L. Young as Jesse
  • Mia Rose Frampton as Karen
  • Steve Little as Jet Ski Renter
  • Steve Mallory as Cashier
  • Damon Jones as Jerry Miller
  • Sandy McCarthy (McCarthy's real-life mother) as one of two ladies leaving bar


On November 17, 2011, was reported that New Line Cinema acquired Melissa McCarthy’s script Tammy, about an overweight woman who is laid off from her job, discovers her husband is having an affair, and decides to go on a road trip with her alcoholic, foul-mouthed, diabetic grandmother.[6] Tate Taylor[7] and Beth McCarthy-Miller[8] were in talks to direct the project, but the deals were never done and Melissa McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone was chosen to direct the film.[9]


On October 18, 2012, it was announced that Shirley MacLaine has been offered the role of Tammy's diabetic grandmother, but the deal never came to fruition due to her scheduling conflicts with the TV series Downton Abbey.[10] On March 20, 2013, Susan Sarandon took the role of the grandmother. Sarandon wore prosthetic ankles to reflect the diabetic symptoms. Also, Kathy Bates joined the cast to play the grandmother's lesbian cousin who saves the duo from some bad spots.[11][12] And Mark Duplass joined to play a man who Tammy meets on her trip and they develop a strange relationship.[13] On April 4, Allison Janney was cast to play Tammy's mother.[14] On April 5, Dan Aykroyd joined the cast of the film.[15]


Principal photography began May 3, 2013 in Wilmington, North Carolina.[16] Other filming locations include the surrounding areas of Shallotte, North Carolina, Castle Hayne, North Carolina and Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina. Also brief footage was filmed in Louisville, Kentucky[17] and Niagara Falls, New York.[18]


The first official full-length trailer of the film was released on May 6, 2014.[19] On June 3, three posters for the film were released.[20] On June 16, the UK trailer for the film was revealed.[21] The film was released in July 2014.[4][5]

Box office

Tammy grossed $84.5 million in North America and $16 million in other territories for a total gross of $100.5 million, against its $20 million budget.[3] The film grossed $6.2 million on its opening day, and $21.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing second place at the box office (behind Transformers: Age of Extinction).


Critical reception

Tammy received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 24% based on 179 reviews with an average rating of 4.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Melissa McCarthy remains an engaging screen presence, but her efforts aren't enough to keep the jumbled Tammy on track."[22] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[23] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[24]

Ian Buckwalter of NPR gave the film a mixed review saying "Tammy never quite manages to find that balance between the sweet and the smartass the way Bridesmaids did, nor does the mismatched buddy dynamic between McCarthy and Sarandon ever approach the success of The Heat. But eventually the film does manage to find its own awkward way, with enough effective and less desperate jokes to smooth things over after the rocky start. It's a shakier debut of McCarthy and Falcone's efforts behind the camera than one might have hoped for, but if Tammy can turn things around, surely they can too."[25] Eden Caceda of Filmink gave a negative review saying "McCarthy plays the same foul-mouthed and distasteful character she’s played in just about every movie since Bridesmaids."[26]


Award Category Recipient Result
Palm Springs International Film Festival Directors to Watch Ben Falcone Won
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Actress Most in Need of a New Agent Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Star Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic Movie Actress Won
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Susan Sarandon Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Film - Wide Release Nominated
Dorian Awards Campy Flick of the Year Nominated


  1. "TAMMY". Fandango. April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  2. "Feature Film Study" (PDF). Film L.A. Inc. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  3. "Tammy (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  4. "Melissa McCarthy's 'Tammy' to Hit Theaters July 2014". The Hollywood Reporter. April 30, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  5. "Melissa McCarthy 'fires an extra' from the set of Tammy after seeing young mother manhandle child". dailymail.co.uk. London. May 21, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  6. "New Line Acquiring Melissa McCarthy's 'Tammy' Script (Exclusive)". October 17, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  7. "It's Official: 'The Help' Director Tate Taylor Teaming With Melissa McCarthy on Comedy". November 3, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  8. "Beth McCarthy-Miller To Direct 'Tammy' With Melissa McCarthy". January 9, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  9. "Melissa McCarthy in Talks to Co-Direct Raunchy Comedy 'Tammy'". July 2, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  10. "Shirley MacLaine in Talks to Join Melissa McCarthy in 'Tammy' (Exclusive)". October 18, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  11. "Susan Sarandon in Talks to Join Melissa McCarthy in New Line's 'Tammy' (Exclusive)". March 20, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  12. Stevenson, Jane (July 2, 2014). "Vanity not an option for Susan Sarandon in 'Tammy'". Toronto Sun. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  13. "Mark Duplass Joins Melissa McCarthy Comedy 'Tammy'". March 20, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  14. "Allison Janney Mulls Role in 'Tammy' (EXCLUSIVE)". April 4, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  15. "Dan Aykroyd to Take a Trip With 'Tammy' (EXCLUSIVE)". April 5, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  16. "'Tammy' filming locations in Wilmington, NC this week". onlocationvacations.com. May 6, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  17. Michael McKay (July 1, 2014). "McCarthy's Tammy set in Louisville, filmed elsewhere". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  18. Staff Report (June 26, 2013). "Stars to shine in the Falls". Niagara Gazette. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  19. "Hot Trailer: Melissa McCarthy In 'Tammy'". deadline.com. May 6, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  20. Anderton, Ethan (June 3, 2014). "Melissa McCarthy Drives, Jetskis & Robs on Three 'Tammy' Posters". firstshowing.net. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  21. Anderton, Ethan (June 16, 2014). "Melissa McCarthy is a Sloppy Mess in UK Trailer for 'Tammy' Comedy". firstshowing.net. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  22. "Tammy (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  23. "Tammy Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  24. "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
  25. Buckwalter, Ian (July 3, 2014). "Melissa McCarthy, An Unstoppable Force Imperfectly Deployed In 'Tammy'". NPR. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  26. Caceda, Eden (August 14, 2014). "Tammy review". Filmink. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
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