Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon star in ‘Tammy’

Tuesday was a good day for the women of “Bridesmaids”: first a look at Maya Rudolph’s new variety show, then a trailer for the new Melissa McCarthy movie, “Tammy.”

McCarthy plays a bumbling thief named Tammy, not too far removed from her role opposite Jason Bateman in “Identity Thief.” Actually, her character in “Identity Thief” was pretty darn street smart. Tammy, on the other hand, is obviously a rookie when it comes to larceny. The first thing she does when she decides to knock over a fast food restaurant is to ask not for money, but for pies. “The good pies,” she says.

When Tammy and her grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon, return to the scene of the crime, hoping to “un-rob” it by returning the money, the window clerk quickly closes up shop and yells, “Oh my God, there’s two of them. We’re gonna need more pies.”

McCarthy is currently filming “Spy” with “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, who describes himself as an “accidental feminist.” Maybe “Divergent” star Shailene Woodley could learn a thing or two from him? McCarthy and Feig, who also collaborated on “The Heat,” are a winning combination, much like Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen. They’re ushering in a wave of female comedy, unique because it’s not romantically driven. “The Heat” and “Bridesmaids” were both explorations of female friendships.

A year ago, Feig penned a column for the Hollywood Reporter called “Why Men Aren’t Funny,” a send-up of Christopher Hitchens’s 2007 piece for Vanity Fair entitled “Why Women Aren’t Funny,” a piece that dripped with so much condescension it should have been accompanied by a mop.

Duplicating Hitchens’s tone, Feig wrote:

Oh, sure, there are men who truly make us laugh. None come to mind at the moment, but I know history has provided us with a few. Euripides was sort of a jokester. English poet John Donne got off a corker every once in a while. But in general, the male species’ sense of humor seldom rises above the enjoyment of watching one of their own take a swift shot to the testicles.

Surprisingly, “Tammy” isn’t a Feig film; it’s McCarthy’s first professional collaboration with her husband, co-writer/director Ben Falcone. The first look is promising, if only because of these three elements:

  1. McCarthy herself, who has become something of a goddess of female cinematic comedy
  2. The inclusion of “Gangsta’s Paradise”
  3. This exchange:

Grandma: “I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.”

Tammy, confused: “On his bike?”

Grandma: “Neil.”

h/t Deadline Hollywood

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.
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