Five years ago, Melissa McCarthy was a jobbing stand-up, juggling time between the US comedy circuit and acting work.
Then came Bridesmaids.
Cast as an overly aggressive singleton, McCarthy unleashed a comic whirlwind that has been blowing at gale force ever since.
Now, the innately lovable star produces, co-writes and headlines this brash, oestrogen-fuelled road movie, which sees her husband, actor Ben Falcone, venture behind the camera for his first stint in the director’s chair.
Alas, McCarthy’s golden touch doesn’t extend to scriptwriting because Tammy is a hotch-potch of half-formed characters and ideas lacking nuance and depth.
As a viewing experience, Falcone’s inaugural offering is more pain than gain.
Clumsily scripted and poorly paced, Tammy huffs and puffs with good intentions but barely raises a smile.
McCarthy works tirelessly but she’s on a hiding to nothing.
Misery is heaped upon the titular protagonist to the point of absurdity, which wouldn’t matter if Tammy was a fully fleshed, endearing creation, but she bellyaches and gripes, without any urge to remedy her dire situation.
As Pearl acutely observes, “Every time something bad happens, you throw a fit!”
The second half softens Tammy with the introduction of Duplass’ nice guy, who evidently sees positive qualities in her that we can’t and almost don’t want to.
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 21%
Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie
First conceived for Irish radio and then as a series of books, the misadventures of feisty Dublin matriarch Agnes Brown transitioned seamlessly from stage to small screen in 2011 with the birth of the BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys.
Creator Brendan O’Carroll cast relatives and friends in supporting roles, ensuring the programme was a true family affair.
Critics may have been unkind but the series gained an ardent following.
Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie opens with a fire safety announcement from the eponymous matriarch “in case we have to ejaculate de building”.
This sets the crude tone for the next 94 minutes.
Punchlines are depressingly predictable and the absence of a laughter track from a live studio audience exposes the script’s dearth of gags and imagination, as repeated uses of cuss words for desperate laughs becomes wearying.
Aside from the large-scale musical numbers that bookmark the haphazard narrative and a pointlessly protracted chase sequence, the film has no obvious cinematic ambitions.
A hare-brained subplot involving Mr Wang (O’Carroll again), Chinese owner of a school devoted to training blind ninjas, embraces stereotypes that the character might himself describe as “a rittle bit lacist”.
Like its small screen counterpart, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie doesn’t edit out gaffes and revels in moments when the cast corpse one another.
If only we were so easily amused.
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: N/A
In selected cinemas…
Based on the Japanese novel Loving The Dead by Kei Oishi, Love Eternal centres on 26-year-old Ian Harding (Robert de Hoog), whose world implodes when his mother passes away.
Unable to understand a maelstrom of emotions, Ian decides to take his own life in a snowy forest clearing but he stops at the vital moment when he stumbles upon the lifeless body of a schoolgirl.
Her suicide note stirs something long dormant in Ian and he takes the body home and buries the girl beneath the cherry blossom tree at the bottom of his garden.
Ian becomes obsessed with experiencing the same heady emotions as the schoolgirl so he engineers encounters with a suicidal housewife called Tina (Amanda Ryan) and a mother called Naomi (Pollyanna McIntosh), whose son’s life was cut short in a car crash.
In tragedy and grief, Ian unearths the seeds of new life.
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: N/A
Ronan Keating from Boyzone, who recently provided the singing voice of Postman Pat, makes his feature film acting debut in this musical based on Joanna Weinberg’s one-woman stage show, which is directed for the big screen by Mark Lamprell.
While her husband James (Keating) is travelling around the world on a one-man crusade to save the whales, domestic goddess Elspeth Dickens (Laura Michelle Kelly) is left at home to take care of their mischievous twin boys.
She installs a webcam in the kitchen so James can see the family on his travels and listen to her singing to the children from the kitchen sink.
These suburban lullabies transform Elspeth into a cyber-celebrity and she is offered the chance of a lifetime to shake off the shackles of motherhood and seek her fortune in the spotlight.
Forced to choose between her family and fame, Elspeth discovers that she can’t have her cake and eat it... without choking.
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 55%
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared
The title of Felix Herngren’s Swedish black comedy speaks for itself, based on the international bestseller of the same title penned by Jonas Jonasson.
The 100-year-old man in question is Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson), who lives in a retirement home under the fleeting watch of busy staff.
While the nurses prepare a birthday cake and a surprise party, Allan decides the time has come for a final hurrah so he clambers out of the window and heads for the local bus station.
There, a skinhead asks Allan to guard his suitcase while he visits the bathroom but the bus arrives so Allan gets on board replete with the stranger’s luggage.
Thus begins a momentous journey of self-discovery which allows Allan to cross paths with a friendly hot-dog stand operator and an elephant, and look back on his incredible life, which includes key moments in 20th-century history in the company of General Franco (Koldo Losada), Harry S Truman (Kerry Shale), Ronald Reagan (Keith Chanter) and Albert Einstein’s dotty half-brother, Herbert (David Shackleton).
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 86%
Cycling With Moliere
Television heartthrob Gauthier Valence (Lambert Wilson) is poised to stage a new production of Moliere’s 17th-century comedy of manners The Misanthrope.
He desperately wants his old friend, reclusive actor Serge Tanneur (Fabrice Luchini), to headline the staging.
Unfortunately, Serge turned his back on the profession three years ago following a nervous breakdown and he has become a hermit in his family home.
Gauthier visits Serge and plies his charm to maximum effect, convincing his old pal to at least rehearse the play with him.
Over the next seven days, the two performers cycle around the Ile de Re, playing out scenes from Moliere’s text. In the process, art imitates life and the boundaries between Serge and the play’s lead character Alceste blur.
RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 77%