Melissa McCarthy’s Inexplicable Affection for Vehicular Mayhem

By  · Published on June 11th, 2014

20th Century Fox

There’s something about Melissa McCarthy’s next feature film that looks just a touch familiar. McCarthy will hit theaters later this summer with a starring role in Tammy, a comedy she also co-wrote alongside her husband Ben Falcone (who happens to be making his directorial debut with the film) that centers on the eponymous Tammy (uh, McCarthy), a perpetual loser who decides to take her life back by hitting the road with her surly grandmother (Susan Sarandon). Hijinks are all but assured, along with violence, misunderstandings, fun adventures, blood, and possibly getting to make out with Mark Duplass, who pops up as a potential love interest with a vast understanding of potato chip catchphrases (dreamy).

The film may be an original McCarthy/Falcone joint, but it looks quite a bit like another wild trip comedy that McCarthy starred in just last year – Identity Thief. That film may have had some different aims for its particular road trip (like bringing McCarthy’s baddie thief to justice, and then also learning something along the way, aww), but there’s a shared DNA here that makes Tammy and Identity Thief sure feel like spiritual twins. It’s double feature material! With Jason Bateman and Sarandon kind of playing the same role! Yet, upon deeper reflection, it appears that McCarthy’s love for taking her act literally out on the road isn’t confined to just Tammy and Identify Thief, it goes far deeper than that. Here, take a look at the latest television spot for Tammy for a start, and we’ll go from there.

Mismatched madness on the run in a car? Looks a little bit like Identity Thief, right? Train your eyes on the last half or so of this trailer for the McCarthy/Bateman team-up from last summer.

Wacky weirdness in a car, correct? But, wait! There’s more! McCarthy also got behind the wheel (like, a lot) for last summer’s other unexpected buddy comedy, The Heat, in which she she starred as a foul-mouthed Boston cop who essentially used her beat-up ride as both partner and weapon. Look at how she cracks criminals with its steely doors and cracked fenders! Even when her Detective Mullins wasn’t using her whip (forgive me) to get the bad guys, she was still able to extract some big laughs from it – like when she tried to exit it after a particularly bad parking job.

Perhaps The Heat director Paul Feig got his car-centric ideas from another McCarthy role, one that featured slightly less crime but just about the same about of ill-advised motoring. Even in Bridesmaids, arguably McCarthy’s breakout film (along with being the game-changing film for star Kristen Wiig and fellow comedic superstars like Rose Bryne and Rebel Wilson), features her character participating in some extremely unsafe (although extremely adorable) driving.

We’ve cracked the code, you guys – put Melissa McCarthy in a car, let her rip, and stand back. Behold! Comedic gold (Identity Thief, you’re getting a pass for right now, appreciate it while you can)!

Tammy opens on July 2nd. Buckle up?