Listen, Identity Thief seems like a pretty sub-par comedy despite its genius stars, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. The script is weak and the plotline is corny, but thankfully the actors save it from being a total disaster by being masters of gesture, delivery and physical comedy.
While it might seem natural to criticise a shitty movie for the above shortcomings, Rex Reed – the Grumpy Old Man in human form film critic for The New York Observer – did nothing of the sort. Instead, he concentrated on insulting McCarthy about her weight while giving Bateman glowing reviews for being… thin and attractive?
“Melissa McCarthy is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success. Poor Jason Bateman. How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck.”
Other choice words Reed dedicated to McCarthy:
– “a female hippo”
– “humungous creep”
Melissa McCarthy is fantastic has always been frank in discussions surrounding her weight – which of course there have been many of, because that’s the way this stupid world works – and has admitted that she still struggles with her body image on a daily basis but tries to master the urge to, oh, hate herself, because she would never want to pass such behaviour down to her own daughters. But here’s the thing: what on God’s green earth does McCarthy’s weight have to do with whether or not a movie is funny? The great thing about so many of her roles – for instance, her part of Sookie on Gilmore Girls – is the fact that it illustrated that – surprise, surprise! – fat people’s lives don’t revolve around being fat! Fat people fall in love, fat people hang out with their friends and have jobs and even (gasp!) eat salads and work out! It’s a miracle!
On another note, if we want to get personal, Rex Reed needs to take a look in the mirror before he starts picking on someone else’s appearance.
Maybe he was a stud in his heyday, but the caterpillar eyebrows, Rudolph nose and his choice of accessories (yellow silk, bro? Really?) leave a bit to be desired. And by “a bit”, I mean this asshole – who is rather portly himself – is no prize piece.
As a final side note, Bridesmaid director and total sweetie Paul Feig took to Twitter to respond to Reed’s hateful diatribe, 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.”