Duke Phillips: Why the hell do you have to be so critical?
Jay Sherman: I'm a critic.
Duke Phillips: No, your job is to rate movies on a scale from "good" to "excellent".
Jay Sherman: What if I don't like them?
Duke Phillips: That's what "good" is for. -- from the 1994 TV series The Critic.
Looking for a more productive way to channel my rage than street warfare, I stumbled across this delightful précis examining fictional works that include critics as characters, in particular film critics in films, by [surprise!] film critic Gerry Peary.
Each film critic I've discovered in a movie is a walking, laboriously talking, stereotype. Some portraits are playful and satirical, others malicious, but there's little variance in the picture of the film reviewer as someone boorish, obsessive, and neurotic (and almost invariably male) you wouldn't want to be stuck next to at a movie.
The practice is a little inside baseball, though, Peary explains. "The problem with modern Hollywood poking fun at real-life print critics is that the public doesn't know who they are."
But we do.
Disclosure: Gerry Peary once took the cinetrix to a screening of Robert Altman's 3 Women at the Harvard Film Archive. What a weird fuckin' movie. Which isn't to say we didn't enjoy it.