Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' BBC's 100 Greatest American Films List Includes 'The Dark Knight,' 'Heaven's Gate,' 'Chinatown,' 'Tree Of Life,' And More BBC's 100 Greatest American Films List Includes 'The Dark Knight,' 'Heaven's Gate,' 'Chinatown,' 'Tree Of Life,' And More Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' Because There Might've Been Too Much Compromise Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' Because There Might've Been Too Much Compromise The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

Rex Reed Says Melissa McCarthy Bases "Career On Being Obnoxious And Fat," Invokes Constitutional Right To Be A Jerk

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 11, 2013 at 3:22PM

So, a couple of things happened over the weekend. A major snowstorm nailed the east coast of the country, "Identity Thief" opened to huge numbers making it the best R-rated comedy bow of all time, and the largely irrelevant and already cantankerous Rex Reed penned a scathing review of the movie. Not just scathing, but also bizarrely personal, the critic took dead aim at Melissa McCarthy calling the actress "tractor-sized," "humongous," "female hippo" and "a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success." As FilmDrunk noted near the end of last year, the critic has an Armond White-esque tendency to say outrageous things, but this seemed to well over the line, and the internet and media responded swiftly to denounce Reed. Well, you can't keep a cranky, seventy-four year old critic down.
45
Identity Thief Rex Reed

So, a couple of things happened over the weekend. A major snowstorm nailed the east coast of the country, "Identity Thief" opened to huge numbers making it the best R-rated comedy bow of all time, and the largely irrelevant and already cantankerous Rex Reed penned a scathing review of the movie. Not just scathing, but also bizarrely personal, the critic took dead aim at Melissa McCarthy calling the actress "tractor-sized," "humongous," "female hippo" and "a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success." As FilmDrunk noted near the end of last year, the critic has an Armond White-esque tendency to say outrageous things, but this seemed to well over the line, and the internet and media responded swiftly to denounce Reed. Well, you can't keep a cranky, seventy-four year old critic down.

But first, let's get some perspective: "Identity Thief" is a terrible, terrible movie. But it has zero to do with McCarthy's weight and more to do with a thin premise, executed with the belief that if the actress rehashes her "Bridesmaids" routine but less honed, and more outrageous, it will equal comedy gold. And there are countless more ways in which "Identity Thief" is spectacularly awful (a story that could've knocked out at least two subplots, logic and plot gaps that defy comprehension, dead pacing and more). But turning to personal attacks, again, is just cheap and low. And given an opportunity to respond on WOR710 AM with Mark Simone, instead of making a simply apology and getting on with his life, Reed stoked the flames.

Saying that his jerky comments are "constitutionally protected, so there's nothing anybody can do," Reed dragged out a conspiracy theory claiming that Universal Pictures was using his review to leverage moviegoers to buy tickets. Uh, okay. He then launched into an explanatoin that was a bizarre mix of health advocacy, a lame and hard-to-buy assertion that his comments weren't about McCarthy but about her character in the film and more. Here's what he said:

"My point was that I object to using health issues like obesity as comic talking points... [McCarthy] is basing her career on being obnoxious and being overweight. And I don't think that's funny. I have too many friends that have died of obesity-related illnesses, heart problems and diabetes, and I have actually lost friends to this. I have helped people try to lose weight, and I don't find this to be the subject of a lot of humor. I have a perfect right to say that. My review was really more about the movie and about the character she plays in the movie than it is about her. I don't care how much she weighs. I don't care how much Melissa McCarthy weighs. She wants to be fat? Mark, she's crying all the way to the bank."

This is probably the closest we'll get to an actual apology from Reed, and it won't be the last time he writes something that's simply bizarre and perhaps mean. If anything, it's likely the most press Reed has received in a while, and hopefully by next week, we can go back to not reading his reviews at all. [IndieWire

This article is related to: Identity Thief, Melissa McCarthy


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates