I was sent an email written by Daryl Wein over the weekend by Indiewire colleagues where Mr. Wein blamed the box office numbers on sexist older male reviewers "who don't like messy, unapologetic stories with women at the center."
Now there are many times when I might agree with Mr. Wein's comments about male reviewers, but not this time. And I think that it is quite dangerous to accuse people of sexism just because your film did not perform. But the accusation is out there so let's take a look and see if there is any semblance of truth to it.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film is at 41% rotten. There are 32 reviews. 23 are by men and 9 are by women. (one is by both)
5 of the women liked it; 4 didn't.
7 of the men liked it; 15 didn't.
There are more men and clearly, the men liked it less than the women. That makes perfect sense to me. The harder thing to assess is age of the critics. Some of the critics have pictures on their site and you can guess age but this is not going to get anywhere near close to being correct and scientific. From what I can tell there are older women and older men who both liked and disliked the film.
Teasing it out further: Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly liked it. James Rocchi from MSN movies liked it. Peter Debruge from Variety liked it. Mary Pols from Time did not like it. Elizabeth Weitzman from NY Daily News did not like it.
I find it offensive that Daryl Wein just decided that he could stir up some press and controversy by accusing older male critics of sexism. He just lost all credibility in my book. If people just throw out the term to get attention it will serve to dilute it when there is actually a time when there is something sexist to complain about.