If an actress wants to be known as something other than "that fat actress" or to be considered for roles other than what boils down to Female Chris Farley roles in which morbid obesity and slovenliness are the punchline, perhaps that actress should stop accepting roles like this:

I mean, jesus christ. Have a tiny bit of self-respect. You're rich. You would think that, like I argued long ago regarding Chris Tucker's repeated choice to play roles that are essentially just black stereotypes, you have enough fucking money at some point that you could say "No, I'm not doing that" without any negative career repercussions. Even McCarthy supporters (not being in the target audience of her films, I know/care very little about her) are begging you to cut this shit out.

Oh and here's the kicker: the film advertised in the above trailer was written by McCarthy's husband. If ever there was an opportunity to create a role that was comedic but not completely, soul-crushingly degrading this would seem to be it.

"Honey, I'm sick of playing fat slobs."

"That makes sense, how about we do a project together where the humor is not based on you being a fat slob?"

*Clink glasses*

Being an actor is hard and being an actress is harder. I always, always look the other way if some struggling young performer takes a what-the-fuck role in order to pay the bills and break into the industry. But once these people are established, rich, and successful there is just no excuse. Peter Dinklage may have played an elf in 2002 when he was a nobody, but he appears to have enough self-worth to turn down the leprechaun roles now that he is a star. There's no reason that rich-ass Melissa McCarthy can't turn down a movie or two that embarrasses and exploits her. Instead, she and her husband are teaming up to write and cash in on even more lowest common denominator Fat Slob vehicles. She has nobody but herself to blame at this point and anyone who feels sorry for her is being conned. As another reviewer said, "She's allowed herself to get typecast in the worst way, and Tammy is the nail in that coffin." The "struggling artist who needs to pay the bills" excuse expired long ago. If you choose to continue doing these Fatsploitation roles, they will keep being offered. If you don't want to, try saying no until something better comes along. Unlike most people, Melissa McCarthy can actually afford to do that.

21 thoughts on “NPF: DEAR MELISSA McCARTHY”

  • Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, and Sandra Oh are also in this monstrosity. J'accuse, sisters.

  • Larry the Cable Gal.

    Worst thing about it is that this will make a lot of money. That's really the worst part about it. This is the Tooth Fairy, Mall Cop, Zookeeper audience demographic's strongest desire, with only 10% of the Ow, My Balls! originality.

    She'll cry herself to sleep on a pile of money.

  • Chris Tucker had a small, but terrific part in Silver Linings Playbook. It reminded me that I used to think he was a talented actor.

  • "If an actress wants to be known as something other than "that fat actress" or to be considered for roles other than what boils down to Female Chris Farley roles in which morbid obesity and slovenliness are the punchline, perhaps that actress should stop accepting roles like this."

    Maybe she doesn't want to be known for something other than what you've described, or did I miss some comment from her (easy to do since I am not looking for comments from her on anything) stating that she's tired of being cast and taking roles as such?

  • @ BK
    You have a point there. Maybe she wants to be known as stupid and gross and useless.
    "Look that person is stealing pies because they are fat!" Is the sort of thing one wants attached to themselves

  • @Dbp – I should have been more clear.

    I am saying that to assert she doesn't know what roles she is playing is as insulting as calling her fat is.

    But as long as we all know best for her I guess we should tell her what to do, huh?

    Your comment speaks more to a problem with you than it does a problem with her. If you don't like her movies or her humor, don't watch her work.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Sidney Greenstreet had a very fine and dignified career, playing overweight villains.

    John Belushi had a GREAT, though short, career, playing chubby slobs.

    John Candy had another GREAT, though short career, playing funny and touching fat clowns.

    Chris Farley?
    His comedy was not to my taste – but still played fat and angry wonderfully.

    Being fat doesn't mean you have to play a stereotype.
    You can play some great roles, serious and comedic, where your weight won't hold you down, but be a asset.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Oh, and btw – I'm a big, tall, overweight man.

    I was also a successful local actor – no real money, but lots of roles!

    But I never got to play the two roles I always dreamed of playing:
    Falstaff, in "Henry IV," and "The Merry Wives of Windsor."
    And, Pseudolus – "the lyingest, cheatingest, sloppiest slave in all of Rome", in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

  • @ BK and Dbp

    I think the answer is that she's decided that she cares more about money than about people's perceptions of her. "Female Chris Farley" almost certainly sells better than whatever more skilled roles she is able to play.

  • Anonymouse says:

    Danny DeVito is an actor without the usual classic Hollywood male star looks, and for awhile in the 1990s, he had a series of movies that had nothing to do with his looks. For example, in one he played a laid-off ad executive who accepts a job as a remedial English instructor on a military base, where his job is to get the academic non-performers up to par. The role could have gone to any male actor (part of his story is that he's the father of a teenage girl), not just a stereotypical schlubb. The movie didn't get a lot of notice in the theaters, but the acting was great.

  • Anonymouse says:

    Sorry, hit -send- too fast. The point of that last post was that it's entirely possible for actors and actresses to take roles that have nothing to do with their size.

  • Gordon Guano says:

    I liked her in The Nines. She's capable of better than this. But I have to concur with the posters above, if she wants to be Sherry the Cable Gal, that's her business. What's really bothered me lately has been David Mamet getting his skull farmed by Glenn Beck and going full rightard.

  • Ugh. I loved her in Gilmore Girls— she (and her character) was cute, witty, and charming. She's capable of so much better.

  • @Tommy: Peter Dinklage didn't actually play an elf in "Elf".

    True. He played a slicker version of the militant little person he played in "Living In Oblivion."

    But this one happened to be a brilliant children's author who gets more tail than you can ever dream of.

  • What Have the Romans Ever Done for US? says:

    Dinklage didn't play an Elf, he played a conceited but successful children's author who was accused of being an elf by a guy whose made a career of playing somewhat dimwit slobs to hilarious effect. And, Dinklage was hardly a nobody at that point in his career.

    As for this movie, I'll reserve judgement until it actually comes out and I've seen it, or at least read reviews by people who have actually seen it. If Will Ferrell can make a carreer out of playing dim, often slovenly Buddy/Hank the Tank/Ricky Bobby type characters without drawing criticism (and still being considered generally hilarious) I'm not sure why the same courtesy can't be extended to Melissa McCarthy.

  • I am a huge (as in enthusiastic, not as in obese) Melissa McCarthy fan and have to admit the trailer made me laugh. What bothers me more about this movie is that Susan Sarandon plays her grandmother. She's old enough to be McCarthy's mother, but she'd better be in some serious "Bad Grandpa" makeup if she's the grandmother. I'll withhold judgment until I have a chance to rent it for $1.30 from Redbox.

  • Based on this preview, I'm not seeing it. What I am seeing is a comedian who is using aspects of herself to be funny that are in some circles considered incorrect to mine for humor. Her character's overblown physical inability to leap the counter like the swaggering gangster she hopes she looks like is funny. (Well funny-ish. Really funny was her attempting to peer inside one paper bag from inside another paper bag.) The whole bit could be played almost identically by Cary Grant, including being diverted by both pie and vet status, and he would make it funny too by bringing his own physicality to it. It may be that McCarthy wants to bring anything she goddamn well feels like to her performances, and she's perfectly comfortable using her size to put her characters in comic situations. Career mistake to go for broad comedy? Maybe, but I won't lose sleep over Melissa McCarthy's career choices.

    It's entirely possible for actors to play roles that have nothing to do with their size. It is less possible for comedic actors to play physical comedy and not make use of their physicality.

    Also I'm fat, and Cary Grant is dead.

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