The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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What does this say about U.S. manhood: Male critics actually like 'Eat Pray Love'

August 13, 2010 |  5:47 pm

Julia_roberts Maybe I was exaggerating a little just to make a point, but based on my informal survey of my male friends, I thought it was absolutely within the bounds of probability to write a post earlier this week saying "Who Will Be the First Guy in America to Admit He Likes 'Eat Pray Love;?" As it turns out, if film critics are any judge of this, men like a good self-discovery travelogue almost as much as women.

While critics in general are giving "Eat Pray Love" a thumbs down--it currently has a 38 Fresh Rating at Rotten Tomatoes--the male vs, female breakdown with critics isn't as extreme as you'd think. It's important to remember that there are far more male critics than female ones, but here's a snapshot of how 110 film critics (including Willie Waffle, who has my favorite critic moniker of all time) cast their votes:

Men who liked the movie: 27.

Men who hated the movie: 44.

Women who liked the movie: 15

Women who hated the movie: 24.

In short, once you factor in that the guys outnumber the women in the critical trade, the women who liked the movie (including my colleague, Betsy Sharkey, who gave it a favorable review) only made up a slightly higher percentage than the men who liked the movie. What does this mean? You be the judge? Maybe Julia Roberts gave the film credibility with a sizable percentage of men? Maybe guys like chick flicks more than they let on? Or maybe male movie critics are simply more sensitive souls than the average U.S. male?

Who knows: Maybe men aren't from Mars after all!


Who Will Be the First Guy In America to Admit He Likes 'Eat Pray Love'?

Photo: Julia Roberts at the world premiere of "Eat Pray Love" in New York. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press