The Carrie Controversy — The Sound of Music Remake

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carrie SOUND of musicI 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.

carrie ROSIEO’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.

carrie HOUSE OF GAMESWhen 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.


  • Guest

    I liked House of Games, too. But I also loved Exit to Eden and all 3 Hangover movies. I'm praying for you, Mr. Board. It must be hard being a critic.

    • joshboardfox5

      How could you like all the Hangover movies? The first was okay. The second had a few jokes that worked, but basically recycled many of the things from the first one. The third one…I think it had one interesting scene (Ken Jeong in Vegas, having the party with Black Sabbath blaring and strobe lights). It was a mess. Hahahahaha. But I do appreciate you chiming in!

  • Jim Heath

    First off, was a newer version of The Sound Of Music really needed? And, secondly did we really need her religious views thrust upon us without warning. I don't personally have a twitter account therefore I don't tweet but if thanking a higher power makes her sleep better at night that's her prerogative. I just don't want to be subject to reading her religious views or anyone's. The Sound of Music is a classic and Underwood just grabbed the bait and ran with it cashing in along the way. She put the chri$t back into "What the chri$t was she thinking with this remake?" Oh yeah, $$$$$, I forgot).
    Stepping down from my pulpit now…

    • joshboardfox5

      I am always surprised when stars talk politics or religion. It can hurt their careers. I just think, if you are really religious and believe so strongly in God…you should realize that, God doesn't want you to win the Super Bowl and thank him. Otherwise, it makes him look like he hated the other team!!! He'd probably rather you feel you did well because you practiced hard. At least, that's my interpretation of how God would see things.

  • L. Nevarez

    Wow Mr. Board! Such intelligent writing! I couldn't have said it better myself! Though I thought it. I am going to pray that you continue writing and giving us your film critique. Excellent review. Thanks!

  • joshboardfox5

    My friend just emailed me, and said that he and his wife just watched the movie Soul Surfer and liked it, but that his wife said "I don't think Carrie Underwood is a very good actress, though."
    It all just makes me wonder…when she was on American Idol, was she praying to win the show? Or, did she see the story on the news about that teenage girl in Hawaii that just lost an arm to a shark attack, and instead said "ya know God, I was going to ask you to help me out with American Idol…but I'd rather you help out this girl who just lost an arm."

  • Denise

    Lot more in the world to talk about than Carrie Underwood. Didn't watch the show , I think Carrie is very talent and lovely and took a risk good for her!!!!!! her views she should be able to express ….reporters can be very mean and say unthinkable things about people. God Bless us one and all….even mean people

  • Judy

    Mr. Board, I think that you have forgotten to mention all of the hate and death threats she got before the show was even broadcast. Carrie, as all of the rest of the cast, worked extremely hard to bring this to the TV screen live!! That in itself is a big feat for anyone, whether they are a great broadway actress or just a regular actress. Carrie has the right, just as the critics do to state her opinion. She is a very religious person as are most of the people in the country industry. Maybe that is what is wrong with the Miley Cyrus's of the world that are on TV showing kids things that are not proper at all!! Being naked in a video and lighting up weed on the AMA award show. Back to Carrie, and the Sound of Music, I was very pleased with the whole production and I do feel that everyone slammed Carrie for everything they thought went wrong with the show. You know they did have a producer, director and a writer for the script that Carrie had to follow, but to listen to some of the critics, it was Carrie's fault for what she wore, the way her hair looked etc.

    • joshboardfox5

      Judy, you bring up lots of good points. First, about Miley. Yes, she is a complete idiot. Couldn't agree more. Her parents even let her do a nude photo when she was 15. What parent does that? And yes, Carrie does have the right to express her opinion, but when stars do that, they really have to be careful. For instance, Oprah was recently stating her opinion — that people that don't like Obamacare, are racist. I'm wondering if, the fact that she didn't get nominated for her wonderful performance in The Butler, will she claim that is racist, too? Yet, it's hard to figure out how a country that elected Obama president, and made billions for Oprah, would turn around and be "racist" when they don't agree with something they agree with. See the flaw in the logic? Carrie should take the logic that other actors have, which is "I don't read the reviews." As one famous actor said the other day on Jimmy Kimmel "I can read 25 good reviews, and I'll just focus on the one bad review that harps on how bad my acting is. That's not very productive, so I just don't read any of them."
      You also bring up a great point about the producer, director, and writer. The problem with that, though…is that the critics were talking about her bad acting. A director can correct a lot of that in a movie, but not a live production, therefore the blame lies with her performance.

  • Judy

    I don't think that your review, or anyone's reviews will hurt Carrie in the least. She is the best artist in her genre, and very well respected by her peers! I have a great deal of respect for Carrie and have heard a lot of the TV hosts of Good Morning America, and the Today show, just to mention a few that think Carrie handled this the right way! With that being said Mr. Board, have a blessed day!!

    • joshboardfox5

      Judy, certainly bad reviews won't hurt her career. Heck, Nicolas Cage has been getting bad reviews, in bad movies, for at least a decade. It's why he was on that list the other day of actors that are the most overpaid for the films they do.
      Something to keep in mind is this…just as the magazine Entertainment Weekly rarely gives a bad review to a movie, shows like Good Morning America or The Tonight Show, rarely say the movies or performances are bad, as they hope in the future to have those guests on their show. It's not very conducive for them to knock the talent. And, have a blessed day as well!

  • Cardig

    One would think a performer would have thicker skin and realize not everyone is going to like everything you do. Nice article, but I could have done without the Rosie visual…uugghh

  • Mission Valley Film

    I think the post above states what I was thinking. I didn't need to see Rosie or Lindsay in your article!!!!! Yuck!

    • joshboardfox5

      Any excuse to post a picture, or mention HOUSE OF GAMES, I am going to take! It's a great film. Although, I have no excuse for subjecting y'all to Rosie. For that, I apologize.

  • Joe

    Carrie Underwood could not hold a candle to Julie Andrews in acting… however I did enjoy her voice and know it is pretty tough to sing live. – I had to do some back research and the bible verse is about suffering to slander and being built up as opposed to seeking vengeance. I think that is a pretty fair bible verse. Critics can say mean things though and sometimes it is done so just to be mean spirited and that is when being cricitical gets sketchy. Constructive vs. destructive feedback is where her focus should have been. If the focus was that she did not do a great acting job then that is what should have been the critique… anything else is destructive… and yes, mean.

  • Deborah Harding

    I really enjoy your take of movies (and life in general) but have to admit that I had no desire to see this 'live' remake of TSOM; I was force-fed the original movie as a child and now, as an adult, have awarded myself the life-time achievement award of never having to watch it (or any other reproduction) ever again! Winner!

  • Jandy

    Your article is wrong about to whom she addressed her tweet. She was addressing the idiots on Twitter who used the forum to post filth, hate and death threats to her. Those are the 'mean' people to whom she was referring. Carrie has been in the business long enough to accept critiques of her work. When it gets personal it's a whole different ballgame.

    • joshboardfox5

      Jandy, Holy cow! If you are correct, I'm so disappointed in myself. It shows that I should've researched this story a lot more before writing my editorial in which I knock her. I didn't realize she was commenting on folks that said nasty and filthy things on Twitter. The initial story I heard on the news was that she Tweeted about mean people and mean critics. I looked up a few things, and just went with that premise. Although, if what you state is true…my point still stands. People can't knock critics for knocking your work. And…any star (especially younger ones), need to realize…if you get involved in social media, twitter, all that…the jerks come out of the woods. IT's one of the reasons Alec Baldwin keeps deleting his accounts. He can't control the goofy stuff that comes out of his mouth, so it's better he just doesn't have an account. And surely Carrie has people that can tell her…if she has a Twitter account or puts herself out there like that, there are going to be shows that read tweets you may have written while drunk. Or an ex-boyfriend might sell photos or messages to a sleazy tabloid, or some anonymous folks might post nasty stuff. To comment on that, just adds fuel to the fire, for those mean people out there. She should've just ignored it, and moved on.

    • mrscorgi

      Totally agree with Jandy. Maybe her publicist would not have wanted her to share the scripture comment but I think she was just so deeply upset at those vial comments. Josh, get over your pretentiousness and at least pose the opposite side of things…there were some so called official critics which applauded the event and while Carrie can always improve in her acting, cited that she did a good job. It is the Sound of Music after all not Shakespreare. If it weren't for Carrie, 22 million would not have tuned in whether they were doing it see see her succeed or fail. Far more people , over 270,000 at least that I saw just on one social media cite loved what she did.

  • joshboardfox5

    Good news for all you fans of this version of The Sound of Music. The network is going to re-air the production. I guess it's similar to when everyone made fun of Sharknado, yet it still got great ratings and everyone liked it for the camp value.
    I think…since it won't be live this time…perhaps they can add a little something extra to it. Get that fake sign language guy from Nelson Mandelas funeral.

  • Julia Wells

    I heard two deals are in the works for the unidentified signer from Nelson Mandela's funeral. First, 3 famous stutters(Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis and James Earl Jones) have all come to the conclusion that he made perfect sense to them while signing and have asked the unknown to sign for them. Also, Palmolive wants to get their hands on this "hand jiver" offering him an exclusive dish soap contract.
    On a serious note: I missed the first live performance Carrie did but I will be tuning in to see the rebroadcast that everyone is buzzing about.

  • guest

    I really enjoyed the show and thought she did a great job, albeit an acting starter. come onnnn Josh admit you wanted to unbraid her hair and let it flow!!!

  • mrscorgi

    As a number of your responders have already indicated, her comment was directed towards the vial and tasteless people on social media who said things about her, Audra McDonald and the girl who played little Marta to name a few. After being on Idol where you get criticized nationally and by the panel of judges and constantly are judged in the media, I rather doubt getting criticism about her performance would be phasing her. Carrie really is that real genuine Christian person who does pray a lot but because that's who she is not because she is using Jesus to defend her against critics–she loves the people she loves and Christ with all her heart and has never forgotten the debt she owed him and others to where she is today. . I agree in retrospect that she probably shouldn't have used scprtiure in her response precisely cause of the backlash people would read into it like she's got God on her side. I was not really a fan before, not because of any reason, lack of exposure. The Sound of Music blew me away and yes her acting was a little stilted at times but I actually thought she played Maria far more as the innocent and naive girl that Von Trapp actually was. I am attaching this review by Michael Buckley who I think nailed it with his view of the Sound of Music. Last but not least, Carrie stands up for justice whether it is support of Gay Marriage, pets rights, contributing a million dollars plus time to the tornado last spring in Oklahoma. I hope she continues to act as she will only get better. Sure people are entitled to their opinions, that's not the point. People are not entitled to be vindictive. Also, just so you know, the original Sound of Music did not get glowing reviews back in 1965. The Sound of Music is not about Shakespearan acting, it is mostly about singing and about a man and wife who stood up to the Nazis in real life. Rodgers and Hammerstein beautifully brought this to life through their music.

    • mrscorgi

      In the spirt of feedback, I do think you needed to do a bit more research on the whole topic. You are a professional critic so you should go the extra mile instead of just responding. My two cents.There were reviews out there that had facts and examples about the extraordinary effort it took to bring this to the home screen . One of the stage managers shared that it would have taken a broadway theatre being filled to capacity at each performance, 28 years, to get the audience they got in that one night. Think of all the new generations who hadn't seen the movie or broadway theatre before because thy couldn't afford it, be able to take advantage in that one evening.

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