“Lady Bird” had accumulated 196 positive or “fresh” reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the most untarnished assessment of any film ever on the site, before one critic with a penchant for playing the spoiler took to his keyboard.
Film critic Cole Smithey gave “Lady Bird” a B-minus on his self-titled review site Sunday night, with the content of his review resulting in the film’s first “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. His appraisal brought the film’s rating down from a perfect 100 percent “fresh” to 99 percent.
Billed as “the smartest film critic in the world” by, well, himself, Smithey praised the Sacramento-based movie’s authentic feel and humor but questioned director Greta Gerwig’s skills as a filmmaker. He called the the movie “dramatically flat,” adding “there are dozens of coming-of-age films that far outweigh this light contender.”
“The armpit city of Sacramento will forever be indebted to Greta Gerwig for making it seem like a much better place than it is to live,” Smithey wrote in his review, posted more than a month after the film’s release.
Smithey also issued Rotten Tomatoes’ first negative review of “Toy Story 3,” giving it a C-plus after more than 130 critics rated it fresh. He also gave Fs to “Logan,” “Wonder Woman” and “Dunkirk” earlier this year (93, 92 and 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively) earlier this year, but issued the 2013 reboot of “The Lone Ranger” a B despite its 31 percent approval rating.
Twitter users were quick to broadcast their displeasure with Smithey’s rating.
“Lady Bird” was nominated for four Golden Globe awards on Monday, though Gerwig was surprisingly omitted from the “Best Director” category.