After the commercial and critical success of last year’s “The Heat” and 2011’s “Bridesmaids,” “Tammy” is the latest summer comedy from the increasingly ubiquitous Melissa McCarthy. While she’s always been either part of a large ensemble or paired with another A-list star, “Tammy” is being marketed and promoted as a purely McCarthy affair. That’s no coincidence as the film is co-produced and co-written with her husband, Ben Falcone, who also steps in to direct.
The film finds our titular character at a cross roads in her life. After losing her dead-end job and discovering her husband has been cheating on her, Tammy decides to hit the road with her alcoholic grandmother in tow. Needless to say, hilarity and hijinks ensue.
Among the standout moments in the film is when Tammy dances in the parking lot, getting herself ready to rob a Jack-in-the-Box-like fast food chain called Topper Jack’s. In the trailers, all of this is slowed down and set to “Gangsta’s Paradise,” while in the film Tammy is dancing along to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop.”
“’Thrift Shop’ was what Melissa envisioned,” Ben Falcone explains about the song choice that plays in the film itself. “She had the idea, ’Oh I think that would be cool,’ so we actually played it while she was doing it.”
“I was like you would have to psych yourself up with music and she would need something to really get into so that kind of weird dance across the parking lot, in my head, she’s totally getting into character to be a badass,” Melissa McCarthy explains. Of course, it might not be the best decisions but it all makes sense to Tammy. “In her head she thinks she’s becoming more powerful. It’s kind of what’s going on in her head and she’s dumb enough to dance across the parking lot.”
For Melissa, playing that song also helped her get in the moment. “It fit so perfectly and that’s what I danced to that night,” she said. “It was 3:30 in the morning, the sun was coming up, we have to get this and at first we didn’t have the music and I was like, ’I have to have it on.’ Like, someone has got to get a speaker and he’s got to blare it.”
“Tammy” hits theaters Wednesday.