Co-written with her husband, Ben Falcone, who also makes his
directorial debut, the film tells the story of McCarthy's Tammy,
a coarse fast-food worker who loses her job, car and husband in
an evening, and rashly takes off on a road trip with her
hard-drinking grandmother Pearl, played by Susan Sarandon.
"It's a love letter to the Midwest about someone who wants to
leave the Midwest," said Falcone.
"But we mean it nicely," McCarthy interjected alongside her
husband ahead of the film's Wednesday release.
"Tammy," distributed by Warner Bros., plays on the isolation and
landscape of rural mid-America that both McCarthy, 43, and
Falcone, 40, fled after growing up in small-town Illinois.
"I was ready to go," Falcone said about his hometown of
Carbondale. "And then I leave and I'm like, 'We should write a
movie about the good old Midwest.'"
Broke, unloved and attention-starved, Tammy reluctantly takes
grandma Pearl on her journey because Pearl has the car and
enough cash to survive.
The problem is grandma Pearl is nearly as much trouble as what
Tammy just fled, boozing and chasing men through Missouri and
Kentucky before Tammy decides to hold up a fast-food joint so
she can bail Pearl from county jail.
"Tammy" is expected to gross $25 million in its opening weekend,
which would make it the top new release over the U.S. Fourth of
July holiday, according to Boxoffice.com.
[to top of second column]
The idea behind "Tammy" sprang to the husband-and-wife team six
years ago, predating McCarthy's Oscar-nominated role in 2011's
"Bridesmaids" and last year's buddy cop romp "The Heat."
"Every character I play somehow I grasp and take something from
those Midwestern women that I grew up with," McCarthy said. "There's
a no nonsense feel to them."
In both films, McCarthy plays her trademark brash, self-unaware but
endearing buffoon in the same vein as Will Ferrell, a producer of
"I knew all the things that Melissa could do, these characters that
are larger than life but still grounded," Falcone said. "I thought
what better way, where she and I are both from the Midwest, to tap
into that sort of lady we both knew growing up."
Tammy's journey along country roads, in stifling summer humidity,
eventually leads her and Pearl to ladies' man Earl (Gary Cole) and
his quiet son Bobby (Mark Duplass) with the promise for a new lease
"Just traveling, driving all up and down these little back roads,
there are a lot of rural people in the world," Falcone said. "And I
think it's fun to get to do a comedy that's about people from a
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Steve Orlofsky)
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