Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman star in the film “Identity Thief”. The film was recently reviewed by movie critic Rex Reed, who panned the film. I am a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator and I believe I have the greatest career in the world. However, it must also be nice to have a job which amounts to going to movies and rating actors, directors and movies for a living. Imagine sitting in a movie theater and deciding how many stars to award any given flick. Although I might choose a movie based on the number of stars it receives, I wouldn’t attend or avoid a movie because a reviewer called one of the actors “tractor-sized”. You read that correctly…. Rex Reed actually referred to Melissa McCarthy as “cacophonous and tractor-sized”. He also called her a “female hippo” and said that she has “devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success”.
Although I’m clearly not a movie critic (I see one to two movies a year), I do read movie reviews. This particular review rendered me speechless. Mr. Reed obviously disliked the movie. Yet he refers to Jason Bateman as “Mr. Bateman” or “Jason Bateman” and Melissa McCarthy as a “hippo”? He is obviously uncomfortable with overweight people and judges acting careers and performances on body weight.
I wonder if Mr. Reed also makes inflammatory and negative comments about overweight men. Does he dislike movies with the likes of the late Jackie Gleason or John Candy soley based on the size of the actors? Did John Goodman get panned because of his weight in the movie “Argo”? Why is it okay for women to be pencil thin as the love interest or female lead in a movie or TV show and it’s cute for the man to be overweight? Would Rex Reed share such negative comments about people who are gay or disabled in a movie he disliked?
A movie critic should critique a movie based on the actors abilities as well as the movie itself (and all the nuiances that go along with making a film). It seems that being hateful and meanspirited is accetable if someone is overweight. Melissa McCarthy was interviewed about a year ago by “Good Housekeeping” magazine. The actress and mother of two said and said “sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought. But I am weirdly healthy, so I don’t beat myself up about it — it wouldn’t help, and I don’t want to pass that on to my girls”. Please share your thoughts and comments.