10 February 2013 11:08 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Should Melissa McCarthy be thanking Rex Reed? Before her comedy "Identity Thief" opened this weekend, it was expected to earn maybe $20 million, perhaps less if the blizzard nicknamed Nemo kept theaters in the Northeast out of commission all weekend. But then Reed, the New York Observer critic, caused a minor winter storm of his own with his review of the film, which went beyond mere dislike of the movie and McCarthy's performance in it to make sexist comments about her weight ("tractor-sized" and "hippo" were some of the colorful phrases he used). Suddenly, the movie wasn't just a raunchy escapist comedy to fill the February doldrums; it was a referendum on Reed and McCarthy, and on film criticism (was Reed just calling it as he saw it or demonstrating his profession's out-of-touch elitism and snobbery?) and body image in the movies (are performers like McCarthy or Kevin James genuinely funny and talented, »

- Gary Susman

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