life itself currently has a 11% mark on Rotten Tomatoes — and according to its writer-director, it’s because a vocal and powerful minority of movie critics are allergic to emotional fare.
Responding to the film’s poor reviews in a meeting On TooFab.com published on Wednesday, Dan Fogelman said there was a “disconnect” between critics and audiences’ response to the film, which follows a New York couple from the start of their romance to birth. of their first child, and the effect it has on other lives.
“I think something is inherently a bit broken in our film review right now,” Fogelman said. “I also think it’s kind of broken in our TV reviews, I think people with the biggest reach are getting more and more cynical and vitriolic and I think there’s a few genres and a few ideas that they [attack, which] is not only aimed at a general public, but also at an informed public.
Fogelman, who is also the creator of the hit NBC series It’s us, added, “I think some of the early reviews that have come out on this movie feel so out of left field to everyone who is a part of this movie and to people who have been watching this movie for a good chunk of the year now to fantasy filmmakers, critics and audiences.
The Rotten Tomatoes score was compiled from reviews from 62 reviewers, 26 of which were considered the site’s “top reviewers”. Metacritic, which gave the film a poor score of 21, polled 24 critics. In The Hollywood Reporter, critic David Rooney said the film “should come with a diabetes warning”, writing that life itself manipulates its audience with “aggressive crushes” via frequent tragedies that strike its main characters.
Cinemascore, which collects audience feedback on films, will conduct a poll on the film Friday, he announced on Facebook.
The writer-director then referred to the lack of diversity in film reviews to help explain the poor reviews as well: “There is a disconnect between something that happens between our mostly white male critics who don’t like anything that has emotion. …Something happened with these 10 people who kind of talk in this ‘group talk’ and say [my work is] ’emotional manipulator’ whenever they [see] anything where [my] characters go through anything.
A USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study released in June found that 77.8% of reviews of the 100 highest-grossing movies of 2017 were written by men, while 82% were written by white critics.
Yet not everyone who disliked the film was white and male. “Imagine what, in more stable and undisturbed hands, this photo and this beautiful duo might have been,” Hunter Harris wrote in New York magazine.
the Los Angeles Times‘Katie Walsh, NPRis Linda Holmes, Westwordis April Wolfe and TimeStephanie Zacharek also wrote unenthusiastic reviews. “life itself …is so breathtakingly evil in its attempts to extort feelings from us that it could almost be a black comedy,” Zacharek wrote.