Forgive the blunt headline, but really, nothing else would do. While the overwhelming majority of reviewers who were forced to endure it (including Bryan here) concluded that the new comedy ‘Identity Thief’ is a pretty bad movie, longtime New York Observer film critic and former television personality Rex Reed crossed a line with some particularly nasty personal insults for star Melissa McCarthy.
In his review of the movie, Reed describes the actress as “tractor-sized,” a “female hippo,” and “a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success.” The remarks about McCarthy’s weight are simply beyond the pale, and the comment about her career only serves to demonstrate Reed’s own ignorance and laziness as a critic. Although she recently scored a lot of attention for her scene-stealing, admittedly-crass role in ‘Bridesmaids‘, McCarthy first came to fame playing a very warm, lovely character for seven seasons on the drama ‘The Gilmore Girls’, and there’s little obnoxious about her character in the sit-com ‘Mike & Molly’ (currently in its third season) either. Even if he doesn’t watch a lot of TV, any critic worth his salt should take the time to research the actress’s career before making broad, declarative statements about it. For that matter, his editors at the newspaper should have taken him to task for his lack of fact-checking.
Ironically, Reed himself has devoted much of his own career to being an obnoxious ass. After Marisa Tomei won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for ‘My Cousin Vinny‘ back in 1993, Reed started a rumor that presenter Jack Palance had called out the wrong name because he couldn’t read the announcement card, and that the Academy engaged in a “massive cover-up” to avoid the embarrassment of admitting the mistake. A later review of the Korean revenge thriller ‘Oldboy‘ sparked controversy for borderline-racist insults about the Korean people.
In response to the review, McCarthy’s ‘Bridesmaids’ director Paul Feig struck back on Twitter by writing:
For his catty and school bully name-calling of the supremely talented Melissa McCarthy, I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go f**k himself.