An American Carol
most shocking thing about An American Carol – even more shocking than
the fact that the makers actually thought it was remotely funny – is the
fact that such counterculture icons as Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) and
Jon Voight (Midnight Cowboy) somewhere along the line turned into
An American Carol
is billing itself as the world’s first right-wing comedy. This may be
true, although I tend to expect some laughs in my “comedy.” What is
undoubtedly true is that pretty much every Republican in Hollywood – all 157
or so of them – worked on this witless update of Dicken’s A Christmas
Carol. (Good idea, guys. There aren’t enough updates of A Christmas
Carol in the world – I think co-star Kelsey Grammer [Frasier] has
made two or three of them himself.)
Okay, I will come clean from the start. I am not their target audience. I
am a Democrat, or a progressive, or a liberal, or a country-hating commie,
or whatever colorful euphemism that the audience for An American Carol
will spew my way if they ever bother to read this story.
So let’s take a second
to let them get it off their chests: a long angry bellow from Dittoheads
about this review being a partisan hatchet job.
However, no matter what you may think, I don’t hate this movie because I
disagree with its politics. I hate this movie because it sucks. I hate the
movie because it is mean-spirited, smug, angry, bullying,
amateurish, stupid and not
the least bit humorous. The fact that its political beliefs are also
oversimplified and often delusional is just icing on the cake.
have greatly enjoyed many films and TV shows which were obviously
conservative. I’ve also thought that quite a few left-leaning movies have
been awful. I felt going in that An American
Carol had the potential to be fascinating, because it had the
opportunity to present a point of view which is normally not shown in the
Still, it seems to me with eight years of Bush sullying the reputation of
their party and nearly destroying the country in the process and with McCain
running perhaps the most erratic Presidential campaign in history, maybe
this is an odd time to come out with a broad farce celebrating the Grand Old
Party and mocking that most pathetic of creatures (in
their mindset) - the liberal.
film is the brainchild of David Zucker, who undoubtedly considers himself a
recovering Democrat and who many, many years ago collaborated with his
brother Jerry to make some of the greatest comedies ever - including
Airplane! and The Naked Gun. Unfortunately, after the brothers
broke up their professional partnership (due to David’s political flip-flop
perhaps?) it seems like Jerry has kept the talent of the team, making
Ghost (though, in fairness, he also
made Rat Race), while David has
toiled on the laugh-free likes of BASEketball, The Boss’ Daughter and
Scary Movie 2, 3 & 4.
film stars (as much as you could call anyone in this movie a star) Kevin
Farley, late comedian Chris' even less funny brother as "Michael Malone" -
an overweight, baseball capped, liberal documentary-maker. (Hmmm...,
subtlety is not in these guys’ bag of tricks...). For some dumb reason the
Moore-alike Hollywood elitist decides he wants to get rid of the 4th of
July, causing him to be visited by ghosts (including John F. Kennedy,
General George Patton and George Washington) who open a can of good old
American whup-ass on him.
the meantime, the film indulges in a heapin’ helpin’ of man-love towards
Ronald Reagan at the same time as taking gratuitous shots at John F.
Kennedy, Mussolini (really, is this supposed to be topical?), Jimmy Carter
and Rosie O’Donnell. (Well, okay, maybe Rosie deserves it.)
of this might be understandable – or at least fair game – in a black
comedy. But then there is a completely unforgivable exploitation of the
World Trade Center disaster, a gratuitously
cynical manipulation of arguably the most significant disaster in American
Zucker may think – as so many of his brethren do – that they have to sell
their viewpoints through fear and intimidation. However, using
the destruction of the Twin Towers to make a crass political point – and in
a supposed comedy, no less – is seriously much
more un-American than anything that the film is
trying to blame on the liberals it is
Exploiting 9/11 for political gain will never work.
Just ask Rudy Giuliani.
There is nothing compassionate about this conservative film.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: October 3, 2008.