Tuned In

Should Men Be Allowed to Review SATC?

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An interesting post at Hollywood Wiretap about a subject that I had been curious about but never got around to researching fully: were male critics more likely to pan the Sex and the City movie than women? I hadn’t thought so, mainly because the harshest reviews I’d read were from two female critics, Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek and the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis.

But Hollywood Wiretap did the math on the flick’s cumulative reviews and found that 49% of male critics reviewed it positively, while 65% of female critics did. “Should male scribes have recused themselves from this assignment?” the site asks.

As a male scribe who reviewed the movie—albeit at the behest of my (female) editor—I’d say no, partly because I think the review of a woman who hates, say, Superbad is as legitimate as that of a man who loves it (and vice versa, if such a situation in fact existed).

But I should stop myself, because as a critic who reviewed the movie, I’m obviously biased, so I’ll recuse myself from further reviewing the review of the reviews. But it’s an interesting subject, so I’d love to hear what you think. Should media outlets have tried to get female critics only to review SATC? And if so, how far should they go in matching the critic to the movie’s target audience?

[Update: By the way, I recommend Maureen Ryan’s just-posted take on the SATC movie, and whether there should be a sequel. And not because she’s a lady critic, either.]