Saturday, January 3, 2009

An American Carol - DVD Review

AN AMERICAN CAROL (**) - Starring Kevin Farley, Kelsey Grammer, Trace Adkins, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Davi, Geoffrey Arend, Gail O'Grady, Chriss Anglin, Dennis Hopper, James Woods, Jon Voight, David Alan Grier, Kevin Sorbo and Bill O'Reilly.
Directed by David Zucker.

Well, it's interesting to see a wacky comedy from a conservative perspective, but rule number one in comedy is that you have to be funny, and I can't say it earned any more than half-smiles from me.

David Zucker's made some good comedies in the past, and his level of parody is still better than most of the other wannabe-spoofers out there, but yeah, this one misses the mark as it tries to preach in between sight gags.

Kevin Farley, brother of Chris, plays Michael Malone, a documentarian who looks an awful lot like Michael Moore. Malone is the proud maker of films like Die You American Pig and his next movie is going to be about abolishing the 4th of July. Following the old Scrooge format, Malone is visited by three ghosts to show him the errors of his anti-American ways. There's JFK in the Marley role, Gen. Patton in the Christmas Past role, George Washington as Present, and Trace Adkins as Future.

Everyone in the movie seems to hate Michael Malone. There's a bombardment of jokes about his weight, his body odor, his bad breath, and his intelligence, and he's constantly slapped by various people. I can see why Laura Ingraham found it funny, and why Bill O'Reilly shows up as himself (and gets in a slap of his own). Eventually though it just comes off as mean-spirited.

I also tried picturing a liberal comedy with the same story, say, if it was Rush Limbaugh being visited by three ghosts to convince him he was wrong to support the war in Iraq. I can't see that movie being any funnier or less mean-spirited, but I could see Al Franken finding it funny and Keith Olbermann showing up as himself.

Michael Moore's style is ripe for parody (I like the YouTube short of Moore covering the war in Lord of the Rings), and there are occasional good ideas in here mixed with some bad ones. But the bottom line is that it just wasn't that funny.

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