I've written a couple of times about Dave Zucker's non-comedy comedy (mockucomedy?) that came and went this weekend without me evening noticing, despite the fact that I think the film is as disgusting as it was pointless. American Carol's premise was simple, a parody character of Michael Moore that "hates America" and works with our enemies to make films that make the country look bad -- kind of like American Carol -- is visited by three ghosts to show him the error of his ways.
The three ghosts are typical of the conservative need to be led by strong daddy figures: George Washington, Geroge Patton, and JFK.
While the latter I'm sure was meant to be ironic, now that the movie has hit theaters (and just as quickly hit the garbage bin behind the theater) the reviews are in and even conservative papers are taking turns wiping their butts with Zucker's attack on "liberal" Hollywood, which these days isn't looking all that liberal anymore. Even The New York Post, a virtual tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, panned the film. Patrick Goldstein wrote about reactions in his LA Times blog and folks, it's not pretty.
"[D]esperately laughless farce" is how the Post described Carol, which isn't very surprising given how badly conservatives miss the point of comedy. Movies like this can't be the equivalent of hanging around the water cooler making racist jokes about people you dislike, knowing full well that your fellow racist friends are going to laugh because they actually think it's funny, and still appeal to the mainstream.
I'm not saying this movie is racist, I have way of knowing that since I haven't seen it, but the analogy I think is quite apt. Jokes meant to hurt people might make you popular with an insular crowd of selfish and shallow jerks, but it's not going to play well outside your comfortable little circle of ... well, jerks.
I could go on at length trying to explain this, but I think you probably understand what it is that I'm getting at. There's a scene in Carol where a judge played by Kelsey Grammar apparently guns down an ACLU lawyer, and this is supposed to be funny somehow. Judges murdering lawyers might play well if the punch of the joke is the absolute absurdity of the legal system, playing off the public's distaste, but that's not Zucker's intent. It's really a very visual and true expression of the pure hatred conservatives have for the ACLU, an organization that does nothing but fight to protect the civil rights of Americans, which often includes fighting for Christians and people of faith to protect their rights when appropriate.
That's not funny, it's sickening. How could Zucker not see the irony? He doesn't like liberals making movies that make America look bad, so he makes a movie that makes America look bad.
It didn't take a genius to figure that American Carol was going to bomb at the box office, and I'm sure Zucker will find a way to blame liberal Hollywood for his making a crappy film that nobody wanted to see. Carol cost $20 million to make and only made $3.8 million over the weekend, only good for 9th place.
Anyway, check out Patrick's post to find out what the Washington Times thought of American Carol. What a boondoggle..