Director Dan Fogelman: Negative ‘Life Itself’ Reviews Have to do With ‘White Male Critics Who Don’t Like Anything That Has Emotion’

Olivia Wilde, Dan Fogelman, and Mandy Patinkin at

I did not catch “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman's movie “Life Itself” at the Toronto International Film Festival, but the reviews were rather harsh, to say the least (the movie has a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 42 reviews). 

In an interview with TooFab magazine, Fogelman went on a rant about today's film criticism and the bad reviews which greeted his film: “I think that the people with the widest reach are getting increasingly cynical and vitriolic and I think there are a couple of genres and a couple of ideas that they [attack, which] doesn’t speak to not just a mainstream audience, but also a sophisticated audience,” Fogelman said, adding that “something is inherently a little bit broken in our film criticism right now.”

Fogleman continued, “A couple of the early reviews that have come out about this movie feel so out of left field to everybody who’s a part of this movie and to people who have been screening this film for the better part of a year now to both fancy filmmakers, critics, and audiences. There’s a disconnect between something that is happening between our primarily white male critics who don’t like anything that has any emotion.”

He then went on to shoot darts at “white male critics [that] don’t like anything that has any emotion. It’s concerning because it is important, it tells people what to go see,” Fogelman said of critics. “I don’t feel that often now our pop and film critics are speaking for a sophisticated audience anymore.

Clearly, Fogelman can't take criticism very well. 

Many of the negative reviews that have greeted the film were from female critics. 19 Female film critics reviewed the film on RottenTomatoes, 17 were negative reviews.