Melissa McCarthy's "Tammy" gets little love from critics

Susan Sarandon and Melissa McCarthy star in "Tammy." Warner Bros. Pictures

In her new movie "Tammy," Melissa McCarthy tries to find love and fulfillment. Unfortunately, critics don't seem to be getting either from her latest comedy.

The "Mike and Molly" actress plays the title character, a crude fast food worker who loses her job, and her marriage, on the same day. She sets out to find herself on a road trip to Niagra Falls with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon, a few years too young for the part) in tow.

The film, now playing in theaters, was helmed by McCarthy's husband and "Bridesmaids" co-star Ben Falcone, in his directorial debut.

McCarthy received a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for her star-making turn in "Bridesmaids," a film that became a box office success along with her later comedies, "The Heat" and "Identity Thief."

But "Tammy" is being called out by critics who say that McCarthy's latest turn is a bit too similar to some of her past efforts:

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: "How do you solve a problem like Melissa McCarthy? That question feels inescapable after watching her try to powerlift 'Tammy,' her newest and least funny comedy, all by her lonesome."

Betsey Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "Can I call you Tammy? I hate to break it to you, but the thrill is gone. I'd like to say it's me, not you. But I really think it's you."

Richard Corliss, TIME: "Tammy, the new movie starring, produced and cowritten by Melissa McCarthy, could be an artifact from some alternate universe: the creatures there resemble Earthlings but have an entirely different and debased idea of what's funny."

Justin Chang, Variety: "McCarthy delivers another one of her patented loser-girl comic showcases, all coarse displays of temper, aggression and flailing ineptitude. That the performance and the movie ultimately aspire to something richer -- a compassionate look at midlife malaise and cross-generational female bonding -- turns out to be more admirable in theory than enjoyable in the execution by the end of this middling misfire."

Ian Buckwalter, NPR: "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."

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "'Tammy' is a bummer, not least because McCarthy's fans know she's better than this."

Aisha Harris, Slate: "Even if Tammy ultimately loses its way, it's exciting to see what McCarthy is capable of when she takes the wheel."

David Edelstein, New York Magazine: "It's just...off."

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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