The rule of thumb when it comes to satire, is that some degree of equal opportunity ridicule is a must. Otherwise, it’s just plain propaganda. So what we have with the right wing screen polemic, An American Carol, is a liberal witch hunt in court jester clothing, and then some.
An American Carol is written and directed by David Zucker, known for The Naked Gun, and Airplane!, a founding father of Hollywood parody who seems to be seized by a current urge to peddle his personal brand of in-your-face politics, presumably to coincide with and unduly influence this election season while pretending to make a comedy. But guess what, there wasn’t a single audience member laughing at my screening, no matter what their political persuasion.
Kicking off the theatrics with a thud, is Leslie Nielsen as a senile grandpa cooking up inedible burgers at a Fourth of July picnic. When his grandchildren gag on the grub and demand a story instead, Grandpa conjures up a tall tale about a pompous, obese and unpatriotic eating disorder liberal moviemaker named Michael, uh, Malone , played by Kevin Farley, who hates America so badly that like Scrooge at Christmastime, he wants to abolish the Fourth Of July holiday. He also wants to get famous so badly, that Malone accepts funding for his next movie from Al Qaeda. Ha ha.
If Charles Dickens isn’t rolling over in his grave by now, there’s more. The ghosts of General Patton, George Washington and JFK harass this Michael Moore stand-in until he sees the light, and how necessary it is to make war not love, or else be a harbinger of treason. Bill O’Reilly and Paris Hilton also turn up to henpeck the neoconservative nonbelievers too, while ACLU lawyers make an appearance as annoying undead zombies who refuse to be blasted into the afterlife by the gun toting righteous.
The last straw for this by now battered critic was a staged mockery of Columbia University’s freethinker tendencies, and it’s not just because that joint of higher learning is the Alma mater of yours truly. How about Zucker’s lecture hall musical skit proclaiming that you’ll get extra class credit ‘if you’re poor, black and gay.’
An American Carol, Huh?! Cinema at its foulest.
An American Carol