Rex Reed: Um. Hi Melissa. This is awkward.
Melissa McCarthy: Awkward? Why?
Reed: Well, you know, because I said those things about you in my review for Identity Thief.
McCarthy: What things?
Reed: Uh, that I called you a “tractor-sized” “female hippo”?
McCarthy: Oh, that was you? I heard about that. What was your name again?
Reed: Rex Reed.
McCarthy: Oh, I thought you’d retired! Like 30 years ago.
Reed: No. I’m still reviewing. Remember, I wrote that thing about you being “obese and obnoxious”?
McCarthy: No. Doesn’t ring a bell. What outfit do you write for?
Reed: The New York Observer.
McCarthy: Oh wow! I haven’t read that since its “Sex and the City” days. I had no idea it was still around. Good for you! Why would your editor put you up to this interview if you’d called me those things? One last gasp at relevance?
Reed: Not exactly. It is my job.
McCarthy: For a little while longer, huh? How much they pay you to subject yourself to this?
Reed: Two hundred dollars.
McCarthy: I made $10 million for The Heat. You need me to loan you some money?
Reed: That won’t be necessary.
McCarthy: Are you sure? Because that suit you’re wearing looks like something you took from the set of The Birdcage. You could probably use a little updating.
Reed: Can we just talk about the movie and maybe leave my attire out of this?
McCarthy: I apologize. I was under the mistaken impression that how a person looked was crucial to their job performance.
Reed: That’s not what I said.
McCarthy: No, I believe what you said was that my obesity is “about as amusing as cancer.”
Reed: Yes, I did say that.
McCarthy: Roger Ebert was obese for most of his life, and he died of cancer.
Reed: What does that have to do with anything?
McCarthy: Nothing, really. I was just thinking how much better the world would be if there were more Roger Eberts in it and fewer … what was your name again?
Reed: You know what my name is.
McCarthy: Oh right. Sometimes, bloviating douchebaggery short circuits my noggin. So what did you think of my movie? Did you find it amusing?
Reed: No. I did not.
McCarthy: Did the coarse language offend your delicate sensibilities?
Reed: As a matter of fact, I found it quite unsavory, something that might only appeal to the youths and their skateboards and their XBoxes.
McCarthy: (scans room, looks under chair, around the table)
Reed: What are you doing?
McCarthy: Oh, I’m looking for your relevance. I figure it has to be somewhere around here, probably in a tiny jar next to your balls.
Reed: That’s uncalled for.
McCarthy: You know what else is uncalled for?
McCarthy: The opinion on contemporary film from a man who got caught shoplifting Mel Tormé CDs.
Reed: That was ten years ago!
McCarthy: Oh, I apologize. Was Mel Tormé all the rage back in 2000? You do know that he was overweight for much of his life. Did you also find his music to be as amusing as cancer?
Reed: This is really neither here nor there. We’ve gotten way off topic. Can we talk about your movie, please?
McCarthy: Sure. It’s called The Heat. Me and Sandy Bullock are in it. It’s hilarious.
Reed: I’ll be the judge of that.
McCarthy: Oh, I’m sure that the world is just beating down doors to get your opinion on it. Wives are probably saying to their husbands right now, ‘Honey, I heard Melissa McCarthy is fantastic in The Heat. We should really check that out,’ and their husbands are like, ‘Oh, but let’s wait and see what Rex Reed has to say before we commit.’
Reed: There are plenty of people who rely on my opinion before watching a movie.
McCarthy: Oh, really. Do you think they listened to you when you trashed Cabin in the Woods? Oldboy? Moonrise Kingdom? Or 50/50? Who trashes 50/50? You walked out of that movie! That right there invalidates all your opinions on cancer and comedy.
Reed: That movie was “tasteless” and “irresponsible” and Seth Rogen is “a disgusting moron.”
McCarthy: I rest my case.
Reed: I’m not very fond of your hostility.
McCarthy: I’m not very fond of your personality.
Reed: I’m sorry that your feelings are hurt because I don’t think that being fat makes you funny.
McCarthy: You’re right. Being funny makes you funny, and it has nothing to do with one’s weight. But you could be 100 pounds or 300 pounds, and you’d still be a horrible human being.
McCarthy: How much did you say your newspaper was paying you for this interview?
McCarthy: If I pay you $300, will you go fuck yourself? [drops mic. walks out]
Melissa McCarthy co-stars with Sandra Bullock in The Heat, opening today. You should see it. While it is largely a derivative buddy cop movie, McCarthy is hilarious in it, but only if you find boldly crass lines delivered with brutal fervor and perfect comic timing to be hilarious. Sandra Bullock is OK in it, too.