I thought the only time I’d be writing about “Carrie” this year was because of the horrible remake of the classic horror flick. Nope. Carrie Underwood had to go and do a live version of The Sound of Music last week that has everyone talking. The only reason I’m talking about it is because of some comments she recently made. She was tweeting negative comments about critics and how mean they are. One of her tweets read, “Plain and simple: Mean people need Jesus. They will be in my prayers tonight…1 Peter 2:1-25.”
Underwood won American Idol in its 4th season, and went on to win 6 Grammy’s. If there is a God, surely he/she is smiling down on her. It makes me wonder if she thinks critics that hated her performance are the spawn of Satan. I’d like to ask her to name a movie or song she hated. Everybody has songs and movies they hate. And when she rattles off her list to me, I’d love to ask, “Why are you so mean?”
Of course, she’d be a bit confused. She’d say, “You asked me to name them.”
Guess what, Ms. Underwood? Critics are asked to be critical. And believe me, there’s nothing we, the critics, would love more than to enjoy the things we’re critiquing. It makes the job more enjoyable.
If she’s going to say a critic is mean because they didn’t like her performance, I can tell her she’s mean if she hated Hangover 3 (even though she’d be right in that opinion).
I think the critics that liked that movie, and had their names slapped on the poster, commercials, and DVD box are a lot meaner. They’re tricking unsuspected movie goers into seeing (or buying) that horrible film. Sometimes they’re doing that for nice perks (including all-expense-paid vacations).
Rosie O’Donnell talked about a critic being mean, and she almost had a point. When her movie Exit to Eden came out in 1994, Siskel & Ebert correctly gave it two big thumbs down.
O’Donnell did a comedy special on HBO shortly afterwards, talking about how mean it was for Gene Siskel to comment on her weight and how unattractive she was in the movie. She was right. Not only was that a dumb thing for Siskel to bring up, but that was part of the humor the film was going for. It wasn’t the cute Sandra Bullock going undercover at a sex island palace to catch diamond thieves (I barely remember that awful film). It was supposed to be an FBI agent that wasn’t comfortable doing it, but goes along with Dan Aykroyd to bust the bad guys.
Where O’Donnel blew it (aside from actually doing the movie after reading the script), was spending 15 minutes of her “comedy” special, ranting about that. If you’re on stage trying to make people laugh, airing personal grievances is hardly fodder for funny. Tell jokes. Tell humorous stories. Don’t rant about the critics that hated your performance (in a movie that got only 6% on Rotten Tomatoes), unless you have a humorous anecdote to share about those critics. O’Donnel, Janeane Garofalo, and Margaret Cho all have the same problem. They went from being decent stand-up comedians, to just getting on stage and ranting about things they hate (usually republicans).
Let’s get back to Carrie Underwood, though. I’m wondering if, since she said the critics need to find Jesus, what are her opinions about the critics that follow other religions? Are they “mean”?
What about the critics that are the same religion as she is, having donated excessive time and money to charity, and are the nicest people around – but still hated her performance in The Sound of Music? Would she still consider those critics “mean”?
Underwood played Maria in this bizarre experiment NBC did, which was a live production. Julie Andrews was in the 1965 version, which won five Oscars. When TMZ caught her at an airport recently, she was smart. She claimed she hadn’t seen this version but had it recorded.
Somebody from the original version did weigh in on this, though. Kim Karath, who played little Gretl von Trapp, tweeted “Love Carrie Underwood but this role is just not right for her. She is lovely her voice is beautiful but acting is wrong.”
You can’t claim Karath wouldn’t like anything in a remake of her musical, because she wrote that Stephen Moyer (True Blood) did well, and mentioned being pleased with Laura Benanti as Elsa.
The first tweet Underwood sent out was immediately after her performance when she wrote “Glory to God tonight…I couldn’t be more proud. What a tough thing to pull off and we did it! I am so blessed!!!”
What I’m curious about is…upon reflection, with all the negative press she got from this…does she now take back the glory she gave God? Does she still feel so blessed?
She probably should, since she’s made over $60 million in the music industry, and has lots and lots of country music awards. As bad as this TV special was, it drew 18.5 million viewers. In that regard, it was a success.
I did a little research on the Rogers & Hammerstein musical, and saw that the book to the musical was written by Russel Crouse. That made me chuckle, because his daughter Lindsay Crouse is an actress (Slap Shot, The Arrival) that I never cared for. One of my all-time favorite movies (House of Games) is disliked by a few of my friends simply because of her performance in it. But I digress.
When it comes to knocking critics that knock movies, I feel we’re all open game. I love nothing more than walking out of a movie and having somebody recognize me, and immediately give me a hard time for disliking a movie they loved (or vice versa). If I didn’t love discussing (i.e. arguing) movies, I wouldn’t have gotten into this.
I once worked with a movie critic that hated 90% of the movies he saw. I found it odd that he not only hated many great movies, he hated discussing why he wrote reviews the way he did. It was an extra effort he didn’t want to exert.
Well, at least I can sleep well tonight knowing that Carrie Underwood is praying for me. And all the other critics, talk show hosts, and entire writing staff of Saturday Night Live, that also made fun of the special.
If you ask me, I think Carrie Underwood is the one who’s being mean. Instead of praying to end world hunger, or for women to not be raped, imprisoned, or stoned in Iraq…she’s choosing to end the meanness of critics everywhere.
And I’ll be praying that she sticks to singing.
…when critics are biting, and reviews sting/she might feel sad…but should simply remember her favorite things.