Matthew Lickona noon, July 29
When it comes to creating character, Melissa McCarthy must have been absent from Animal House the day Dean Wormer advised students that, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.” For her latest exercise in vacuity, McCarthy plays a recently fired slob who winds up taking a road trip with her alcoholic, oxycondone-addicted granny (a desperate-for-work Susan Sarandon). Without the courage of her convictions to carry the character’s behavior to its piggish apex, McCarthy turns to jiggling Tammy’s tummy for laughs and dime store pathos to give the film its sickeningly false sense of humanity. One expects unchallenging trash like this to conclude with black ink on the books, but a kiss, too? The only way this could have possibly ended happily is if Sarandon suddenly channeled “Louise” and piloted the pair off a cliff. Kathy Bates and an eleventh hour Dan Aykroyd come off best, but nothing can salvage this wreck. Mr. McCarthy directs. 2014.