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Posted: 4:22 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2013

Critic slammed for calling Melissa McCarthy a "hippo"  

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Melissa McCarthy  photo
Oscar-nominated Melissa McCarthy on the red carpet. Photo: Getty Images

A New York film critic has become the subject of criticism himself after a withering review of made-in-Atlanta "Identity Thief," in which he calls Oscar-nominated actress Melissa McCarthy "tractor-sized" and a "hippo."

"Melissa McCarthy is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success," the New York Observer's Rex Reed wrote in his review of the movie.

Hundreds of angry comments quickly followed, blasting the critic for focusing on McCarthy's dimensions.

"I'd be interested to know if Mr. Reed has referred to John Goodman as a "hippo" or "tractor sized" in his reviews of that male actor's movies?" one commenter asked. Answer: not that we can tell. In past reviews of "Argo" and "The Artist," in which Goodman appeared, Reed mentioned him only to note his presence. In a review of "Fllight," Reed did make note of Goodman's stature but in a pretty matter-of-fact way. He described him as a "pony-tailed, overweight hippie drug dealer ... who smuggles in cigarettes, vodka and porn" to the hospital room of Denzel Washington's character, and called Goodman's performance "amusing."

In "Identity Thief," McCarthy and Jason Bateman play two people who just happen to share the same name. She manages to steal his identity and has a big time running on bills at his expense, until he decides to track her down. Madcap antics ensue. Reed hated pretty much everything about the movie, and lamented that Bateman got involved. "Poor Jason Bateman," Reed wrote. "How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck?"

He has not a single kind word for McCarthy, who earned a best supporting actress Academy Award nomination for her role in "Bridesmaids," calling her character "a screeching, humongous creep" and calling McCarthy hereslf "tractor-sized" and a "female hippo." 

The movie really does look awful (we haven't seen it yet). If you'd like to skip it, reading the sea of comments attacking Reed's vicious words might prove more entertaining.


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