Funny or Not: Melissa McCarthy

Posted in The Screening Room by - July 30, 2015

Melissa McCarthy is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in Hollywood right now, female or otherwise. Thanks to her breakout role in frequent collaborator Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids, she is ubiquitous in major films with the “fat and funny lady”. However, ever since Bridesmaids, I’ve been finding her schtick somewhat grating (and this is coming from someone who LOVES Adam Sandler still). I recently watched Spy and thought it was a pretty funny film; however, I found myself wishing the supporting characters were the central focus of the film as they are the clear highlight, performance-wise, not McCarthy.

I thought we could play a little game called “Funny or Not” by running through some of Melissa McCarthy’s bigger films and assigning a “funny” or “not” score to her roles to help us finally come to the subjective conclusion regarding whether or not she is a funny actress. Let us begin:


The one that kicked McCarthy’s career into high gear, Bridesmaids introduced us to the boorish McCarthy, the female analogue to the late Chris Farley. I absolutely loved this film and her over the top character, who made taking dumps in sinks was endearing and hilarious. “I want to see her in more stuff,” I can remember thinking to myself. As the cliche goes: be careful what you wish for.

Funny or Not: Funny

The Heat

The next big collaboration with Paul Feig, The Heat, teamed up McCarthy with Sandra Bullock as they were embarking on their own buddy cop adventures. Admittedly, I didn’t make it past the halfway point of the film, but McCarthy wasn’t offensively terrible. I recall chuckling at least once or twice. Let’s call this one a push. She fights to see another day.

Funny or Not: Push

The Hangover Part III 

Thankfully this film is an improvement over the abomination that is the second Hangover film. McCarthy has a supporting role as a love interest for the equally grating Zach Galifianakis character. Due to her relatively limited screen time, her awkward shop owner thing didn’t bother me too much, and I could see an argument for her character enhancing the film, because let’s face it, Alan is the worst. 

Funny or Not: Funny

Identity Thief

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, what could possibly go wrong? In the 30 minutes I spent watching this film (about 29.5 minutes too long), I learned that once again Melissa McCarthy is fat and boorish! Look how clumsy and foul-mouthed she is! I bet she does something she shouldn’t! She does all these things and more! Also, I managed to catch the most unappealing sex scene involving her and some random redneck, so that may be a plus or minus, depending on your tastes.

Funny or Not: Not


Melissa McCarthy as yet another well-intentioned misanthrope who is made fun of for her physical appearance and general lack of self care. I took my mom to see this movie since she seemed into it, and I firmly believe my accompanying her through the entire film should guarantee me at least a “Son of the Year” placard. A complete hot mess, with, admittedly, a few funny scenes, this movie is probably less entertaining than most Snapchats I receive daily, and those primarily consist of my roommate taking shirtless selfies. I guess this movie is about growing as a person, but it’s really just bad. The jokes fall flat, Melissa McCarthy does the same thing she does in every movie, post Bridesmaids (full disclosure, I haven’t seen St. Vincent), and it has some shoehorned love story as well. Tammy is bad cubed and not funny.

Funny or Not: Not


Wouldn’t a spy movie starring Jason Statham and Jude Law be dope as hell? What if we made them amazing characters, but the movie is really about Melissa McCarthy and fat jokes learning to become a field agent instead? Ok, I liked this movie. Her performance is adequate, and she’s tolerable for the majority of the film. Unfortunately, every single co-star outshines her. Statham is an absolute riot, and Peter Serafinowicz’s handsy Italian agent needs his own film. I’m just disappointed that years into her breakout, we’re seeing variations of the same character over and over for McCarthy. I understand that isn’t all that unusual for comedic actors, but excessive cursing and fat jokes only can take you so far. Ultimately, the supporting crew make this one of her better films, and she is adequate enough in it.

Funny or Not: Funny

Let’s look at the results (drumroll…..) 3 funny, 2 not, 1 push. Despite my initial inclination to say Melissa McCarthy is not funny, the numbers are (ever so slightly) in her favor. She’s on thin ice, so let’s hope she branches out and manages to be funny while incorporating something new into her act. That new Ghostbusters film should do the trick…..

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He's a native Texan (YEE-HAW) who loves everything Michael Bay has ever touched. When he's not blogging, he's working on his mobile app, BoxHopp, or tinkering with his fantasy football lineups.
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