The great thing about the Internet is that readers from all over the world can complain about you.
The stream of e-mails about “Sex and the City” has dwindled to a trickle, but someone from my home state of New Jersey recently sniped at me for saying the film didn't amount to much. She argued I couldn't possibly appreciate the film because 1) I have the wrong chromosomal makeup and 2) I haven't devotedly followed the HBO series.
If point one were true, I couldn't review movies where the target audience is black, Asian, Latino, native American, gay, below middle age or well above it. To adequately fill my position, we'd need a dozen critics of all ages, races and sexual proclivities – and one for each gender in every case.
If point two were true, every movie based on a book, TV series, Broadway show or Internet source should get a rave. Fans love them, and nobody else would buy tickets, so that makes them an utter success.
That's nonsense. A good film should offer something to open-minded, curious people willing to try a different culture on for size. If it doesn't, insiders can still have a ball at it – and needn't read reviews – but the rest of us deserve a warning.