THE Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence has been criticised for being "too big" to play the lead role in the movie where starved teenagers battle for the right to live.
Reviewers have described Lawrence as a "big-boned lady" with "lingering baby fat" who "makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission", Slate.com reports.
The Hunger Games stars Lawrence as teen Katniss Everdeen who is one of 24 youths forced to compete in a televised death match in a post-apocalyptic North American society.
The film is based on the first novel in the best-selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Lionsgate plans to release part two, Catching Fire, in November 2013, and hopes to do the finale, Mockingjay, as a two-part film installment.
New York Times reviewer Manohla Dargis led the criticism of Lawrence's size.
"A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission," he wrote.
Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells calls Lawrence a "fairly tall, big-boned lady" who's "too big" for her love interest in the film Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark.
"Lawrence seems too big for Hutcherson. She's a fairly tall, big-boned lady (I've been in a hotel room with her) who's maybe 5' 8", and he seems to be something like 5'7," Wells wrote.
"Male romantic figures have to be at least be as tall as their female partners, and we all know most girls like guys to be at least a little bit taller, so Lawrence and Hutcherson don't seem like a good fit. It almost looks like she has to bend over a bit to give him a hug."
The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy also commented on Lawrence's "lingering baby fat".
Lawrence made her breakthrough for her performance in Winter's Bone in which she was nominated for best actress at last year's Academy Awards.
Regardless of the criticism the movie filled fan appetites with a $US155 million ($NZ189m) opening weekend that puts it near the top of the US domestic record book.
The huge haul marks the third-best debut ever in terms of revenue, behind the $US169.2 million opening for last year's Harry Potter finale and the $US158.4 million opening of 2008's The Dark Knight.