AceShowbiz - James Corden's performance in "The Prom" has drawn the ire of movie critics. The actor/comedian has sparked backlash for his "offensive" portrayal of a gay character in the Netflix musical film, which is directed by Ryan Murphy.
In the upcoming movie, "The Late Late Show with James Corden" host plays gay Broadway actor Barry Glickman whose star is fading. Calling it miscasting, some critics believe that the role should have gone to Nathan Lane.
Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson wrote in his review, "Corden, who is straight, is so bad in 'The Prom'-somehow both appalling and terminally bland." He described the British star's performance as "flitting and lisping around in the most uninspired of caricatures, misses all potential for nuance, and thus never finds even a hint of truth in the role."
Newsweek critic Samuel Spencer dubbed Corden's stereotypical performance "offensive," while The Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney agreed that the "Cats" star plays "a flaming gay stereotype" and "channels the mannerisms without the joy." As the result, "It's a flat performance without much heart."
The Telegraph critic Tim Robey opined, "In a cast full of talented queer actors in the younger parts, it's a massive problem to have Corden in gay-face front and center." He took issue with a particular scene "when he grabs Emma's (Jo Ellen Pellman) hand and whisks her to the mall for a makeover." He explained, "It's an insult the film doesn't even consider, stereotyping the young lesbian as fashion-clueless and the gay man as a bustling Queer Eye nightmare who made this reviewer embarrassed to be batting for the same team."
Digital Spy critic Ian Sandwell blamed Murphy for making "a major error in the casting of James Corden as the musical's gay male lead character." He argued, "The result sees Corden camp it up to the point of being regressive and offensive, hitting every gay stereotype along the way."
Among the many critics, however, TV Guide writer Damian Holbrook begged to differ, praising Corden's performance as "fantastic." When a Twitter user asked him in disbelief, "The pussy from Cats is fantastic?" he replied, "I know!"
Neither Corden nor Murphy has responded to the backlash.
"The Prom" centers on fading Broadway stars who are determined to make a high school student's prom dream come true as part of PR stunt to resurrect her public image. The star-studded cast also includes Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells and Kerry Washington among others. The movie will be available for streaming on Netflix beginning December 11.