Not This Shit Again


I’ve been avoiding all this nonsense culture war stuff because other people are more interested in it, and are better at discussing it because they care, but this one was wrong enough to make me want to say something. Mindy Kaling blames white men for criticizing her movie. Which is a lot of bunk, but I am sure some of the critics are white men. Let me quote one line from the article:

Kaling and Paulson’s new heist movie – which stars an ensemble cast of eight actresses and centers on the women’s plan to rob the Met Gala – currently has a modest 68% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film has put up impressive numbers at the box office.

Ok, 68%. That’s “Certified Fresh.” It’s actually went down to 66%, but still fresh. The audience has it at 48% — so the critics like it more than the random folks who review for Rotten Tomatoes. The Critic Rating is actually around the same as the first and third movies of a few years ago: Ocean’s 11 has 82 (audience: 80), Ocean’s 12: 54% (certified rotten!) but the audience is higher at 60%, Ocean’s 13: 70% (audience: 75%). The average critics score for the first three movies is 68.67%. Not too terribly far off. Keep in mind this is the fourth movie in this iteration of the franchise. How many 4th movies do close to as well as the series average, I wonder? I’m not about to hunt that information down but I bet it isn’t damning to the critics.

Here’s the thing: you aren’t entitled to my time when it comes to watching a movie. Or any entertainment, really. The movie made over forty million dollars on opening weekend. That’s pretty damn good. But it’s also competing against a ton of other movies, a ton of streaming, a ton of video games, a ton of… et cetera.

Also, if white critics are doing so much to keep down minority and/or female actors, then they surely dropped the ball with the success of the Wonder Woman movie and the success of the Black Panther movie, and last year’s most talked about Get Out and Lady Bird movies. Seriously, there are a lot of highly successful, highly praised movies with minority or female leads. Ocean’s 8 is one movie, and it is probably honestly a little hurt by being the fourth in this series — critics don’t like a lot of sequels.

Everything isn’t about your race or gender. Stop seeing every setback (yeah making over forty million in a weekend is a setback?) as some sort of attack. Also, who would even know the Rotten Tomatoes score for a movie without checking? I have never decided to watch a movie or not watch a movie based on that or any critic recommendation, and I cannot be the only one.

I’ll probably even end up seeing Ocean’s 8 when it comes out on any of the myriad streaming services I subscribe to. It takes a lot to get me out to the theater, and this isn’t the fare to do it. (Neither are the aforementioned comic book movies, most times.) Seeing movies at the theater is an expensive (relative to other means of watching movies), time-consuming affair. And I have to put on pants to do it.

Anyway, enough of the rambling rant here. Stop making everything about identity politics when it doesn’t have to be. It’s an unattractive look.