Theatrical Review: An American Carol

As our story starts, on the Fourth of July, a kindly old grandfather is sitting down to tell his grandchildren a story during a family picnic- the story is about a filmmaker named Michael Malone, who’s famous for his highly liberal documentaries, to the point where to the grandfather is anti-American. And so this story that the grandfather unweaves is a retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but with Malone as Scrooge and visited by the ghosts of JFK, George S. Patton, and George Washington…

… and it’s also the latest movie from director David Zucker, best know for being part of the team that gave us Airplane! and The Naked Gun movies and also one of the few Hollywood Conservatives who’s obviously pretty proud of it.

Now I’ll go ahead and tell you right up front that I expect that there’ll be few out there that will really give this too much of an even break- as an admitted conservative my own self (but with some liberal leanings), I had a pretty good time with this, even though I’d also be the first to tell you that this isn’t as funny as the movies mentioned above. If you’re a die-hard liberal, or even a casual one, I seriously doubt that you’ll have too much pleasure with this, though I suppose that could also hinge on the real subject of it’s lampooning, filmmaker Michael Moore.

An American Carol is made with the same abandon that the above films are, obviously more on the side of cartoonish frivolity more than anything else. But Zucker gets his beliefs in there as well, and for that, I have to give him credit anyway on making a movie that bucks the normal Hollywood trend (though, I do think that Moore gets a more harsh lampooning in Parker and Stone’s Team America World Police.

Kevin Farley plays Malone, and he’s pretty much a cartoon character doing it, and that’s fine, that’s what the movie is asking of him. And in other parts, you’ll find other Hollywood conservatives including Leslie Nielsen, Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Robert Davi and country music star Trace Atkins amongst others with just a little sermonizing along the way… but really, not any different from some of the more serious movies that some would see to be carrying a very highly liberal message.

I enjoyed it, I laughed quite a bit at some parts and others just fell flat, but still I had a pretty good time. This is out there pretty much independent of any sort of any major studio release, and as such, we didn’t have a single trailer for any other movie during it, which was surprising. And also surprising was the fact that we had a larger audience for this than I would’ve figured- at best, I was figuring maybe 20 people in to see it, but that number was easily doubled. Like I said above, not for everyone, but I figure if you’ve got conservative leanings and are tired of the normal Hollywood message, you might have a good time with this…

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

04. October 2008 by Darren Goodhart
Categories: Text Reviews, Theatrical Review | Leave a comment

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