With a soaring 80% Rotten Tomatoes rating, many of nation's critics really like Scott Pilgrim vs. the Word. But what about the other 20%? This week, NPR's Linda Holmes dissected reviews from the film's harshest critics and discovered something interesting: negative critics don't hate the film per se, they hate its target audience. Scott Pilgrim, you see, is a tale in which Michael Cera must defeat his love interest's seven evil ex-boyfriends. It's loaded with geeky gamer jokes and comic fanboy humor. Is it right for critics to denounce a film based on the audience it caters to? Holmes most definitely thinks not. Here are the film's naysayers followed by Holmes's deft takedown:
The Film Is Catered to Morons, writes Sara Vilkomerson at the New York Observer: "How can a movie so clearly directed at an audience with generational ADD drag on so?" Sean Burns at the Philadelphia Weekly agrees. He says the film is "an insular, punishingly alienating experience preaching only to the faithful, devoted hearts of arrested 12-year-old boys. It’s singularly fixated on video games and shallow visions of women as one-dimensional objects to be either obtained or discarded and offers no possible point of entry to anybody over the age of 30."
You Critics Are Absurd, counters Linda Holmes, denouncing the naysayers:
Hating Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is perfectly fine. It's got a style; you sort of embrace it and dig it or you don't. But when there's too much effort given to tut-tutting the people you imagine to be enjoying it, or declaring and promising that only narrow categories of losers and non-life-havers and other stupid annoying hipsters could possibly be having a good time when you're not, it sounds pinched and ungenerous. And, not to put too fine a point on it, a little bit jealous and fearful of obsolescence.
Here's what I'm saying: I'm a woman, I'm in my late thirties, I can't handle first-person shooters, I'm afraid of Comic-Con, and I really, really liked Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
I hope I'm not, you know, blowing your mind.