Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I just enjoy slapping you!
October 2, 2008 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Coming soon to a theater near you: An American Carol (not to be confused with the Dickens Christmas time classic). This new film by David Zucker features a slave-owning Michael Moore look-alike who is punched, slapped and otherwise cajoled by ghostly generals and country music stars into learning the true meaning of America, and a thing or two along the way about how to be a man.
posted by washburn (100 comments total)

 
That looks deeply stupid.
posted by Mister_A at 10:35 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is apparently a movie for the other America. The one that terrifies me to the core.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:36 AM on October 2, 2008 [15 favorites]


Plot synopsis on IMDb:

In An American Carol a cynical, Anti-American Hollywood filmmaker sets out on a crusade to abolish the 4th of July holiday. He is visited by three spirits who take him on a hilarious journey in an attempt to show him the true meaning of America.

Um, yeah.
posted by contessa at 10:39 AM on October 2, 2008


I mean, slave-owner? Really? Isn't that just an excuse for a fucking racist orgy of deeply insulting stereotyped buffoonery?
posted by Mister_A at 10:40 AM on October 2, 2008


I can see the church buses unloading the faithful into the theaters now.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:40 AM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh David Zucker, why couldn't you have put that time and money towards starting a baseketball league?
posted by drezdn at 10:40 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hopefully it gets released on election day and the people who think it looks funny go see it instead of voting.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 10:41 AM on October 2, 2008 [14 favorites]


Oh God, I saw Bill O'Riley in that trailer.
The thing is, productions like this tend to make me cringe not necessarily for the content but for the ham-handedness. I had to watch with the sound off, so I could only go by appearance. Considering I don't like Michael Moore, soundless it seemed kind of amusing at first.
posted by cimbrog at 10:45 AM on October 2, 2008


If there's one thing liberals are known for supporting, and conservatives for opposing, it is the institution of slavery.
posted by DU at 10:45 AM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


If there's one thing liberals are known for supporting, and conservatives for opposing, it is the institution of slavery.

Replace that with Democrat and Republican, and yes, you would be correct.
150 years ago.
posted by cimbrog at 10:48 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh God, I saw Bill O'Riley in that trailer.

The trailer from the first link, or the third? Oh, it's the same in both. And that's the post.

Your favorite movie you haven't seen yet sucks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:49 AM on October 2, 2008


This is the same guy that did Police Squad. What happened?!
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:49 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, James Woods and Jon Voight - my favourite Republican Hollywood stars, together at last. I just hope this doesn't blow Leslie Neilsen's credibility.

As for David Zucker, the guy's sucked since Naked Gun 2 1/2. He should start working with OJ again.
posted by Mocata at 10:53 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Slightly more background on the movie here
posted by jhiggy at 10:55 AM on October 2, 2008


Music by Ted Nugent.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:59 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh Dennis, how could you... still ex-hippies always make the best nazis
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:03 AM on October 2, 2008


ITS ABOUT TIME LIBS GOT WHAT WAS COMEING TO THEM. AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF RUINING THIS COUNTRY WITH LIES AND TREACHORY IT'LL BE A BREATHE OF FRESH AIR WHEN A REPUBLICAN FINALLY TAKES BACK THE WHITE HOUSE.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:04 AM on October 2, 2008 [20 favorites]


I also find it ironic that the writers would choose to base the film's story on one the most overtly anti-capitalist, pro-socialism novel in all of popular literature, while at the same time aping an outspoken critic of modern corporate greed.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:04 AM on October 2, 2008 [10 favorites]


So the story behind this is that a small group of Hollywood conservatives, apparently a hunted minority, have clandestine meetings, and finally decide to make a movie that espouses conservative values, in response to the endless barrage of Hollywood movies that espouse liberal values.

The main storyline for their movies? Conservatives beat up Michael Moore.

Come to think of it, that sort of is what their worldview has dwindled to, isn't it?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:06 AM on October 2, 2008 [13 favorites]


Hollywood blue
posted by oddman at 11:07 AM on October 2, 2008


There is a quote in that trailer that calls David Zucker "The master of american satire."

The attribution for the quote: David Zucker.

He must have been talking about himself in the past tense.
posted by camcgee at 11:08 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I told you people not to get me started about this fucking movie.

You know, it's not like I'm going to defend Michael Moore. There's plenty to lampoon about him. But this movie comes from the basic position that the function of liberalism is to hate America and try to destroy it. Such that we need to be reminded of what's great about America by jingoist asshole country singers with fireworks kits. (Like frat boys but more working class.)

Really? Conservatives think I want to undermine everything America stands for?

It's like the schoolyard bully who grabs you and takes your wrist and keeps smacking your hand into your face and going "Why are you hitting yourself? Why do you keep hitting yourself?"

Except in this case, he really is just furious about it. You're vicious and evil and he sees red whenever he thinks about it, and he absolutely fucking despises you for hitting yourself.
posted by Naberius at 11:11 AM on October 2, 2008 [48 favorites]


Fuck, does this mean I have to stop singing Rough and Ready at karaoke?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:14 AM on October 2, 2008


Another "9/11 Republican" like Dennis Miller; confusing nationalism with patriotism and using his new-found love of jingoism to boost his sagging career. Fuck him.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 11:15 AM on October 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


What's funny is that the movie does appear to be quality satire, just not the kind the filmmaker intended. If I didn't have the background information telling me otherwise, I would think this was a film made by a liberal who took every possible stereotype of hateful, jingoistic, right-wing nutjobs and imagined what kind of movie such a person would make if given the opportunity.
posted by The Gooch at 11:25 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I always wonder about folks who espouse the idea that Obama is some sort of radical leftists zealot as their reason for disliking him. "But he described Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama an 'extreme left-wing candidate who doesn’t represent the country.'" This is so obviously not true, Obama is pretty much a centrist. I wonder what reasons for disliking him they are attempting to obfuscate with this faulty reasoning?
posted by anansi at 11:27 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm sure this will do for his reputation what Baby Geniuses did for Bob Clark's reputation - Bob Clark produced the other timeless comedy from the early 80s.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:27 AM on October 2, 2008


On the local propaganda AM radio station it's being widely advertised as a family friendly, positive movie to counter all the negative drivel coming out of Hollyweird. Then, at the very end, they state that the movie might not be appropriate for children aged 13 and younger. Indicative of the cognitive dissonance level required to be a mainstream conservative these days I guess. At any rate, the thing that sticks in my craw is that there is absolutely no pretense that the movie will be objectively enjoyable. IOW, Zucker put together a steaming pile of crap that they can only sell by leveraging the Bush brand. IOW (x2 I guess) the movie is coming out about three years too late.

Or maybe it is the sweetest, most sublime satire ever brought before the people's palate and this is all part of the apparatus that makes it possible
posted by Fezboy! at 11:30 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is the same guy that did Police Squad. What happened?!

Another "9/11 Republican" like Dennis Miller


Yep.
"...post 9/11, [David] Zucker experienced a conservative political conversion

...Once I went over to the dark side, I did a couple of political ads. And when I showed them to some live audiences, we got big laughs. I thought, Why not a feature? 'Saturday Night Live,' Jon Stewart and the rest—they're all funny. But we can make fun of the left, just like they make fun of the right."
Brings to mind the attempt by the conservative right to take on shows like 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report' with The 1/2 Hour News Hour last year. Oh, that's right, it flopped big time.
posted by ericb at 11:30 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


So the story behind this is that a small group of Hollywood conservatives, apparently a hunted minority,

Why is it that pretty much all conservatives become a hunted minority as soon as anyone is allowed to publicly criticize them? Do they take weird, paranoia inducing drugs?
posted by philip-random at 11:31 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh God, I saw Bill O'Riley in that trailer.

Lil' O'Reilly.
posted by ericb at 11:34 AM on October 2, 2008 [13 favorites]


Because I support smaller government, lower taxes and a strong military, all the things that JFK once espoused,” he said. “But now you have to be a Republican to be in favor of those things.

Earth to formerly funny director: Your party is only 1 out of 3 on these big items since 2000.

Government: Not smaller. The opposite. Not just not smaller, but also more aggressive. Habeas who?
Lower taxes: Yes, but... much higher cost of living, spiraling healthcare costs = more working poor. Still, technically less tax revenue is hitting treasury. Nice job there.
Stronger military: Our military is weaker than it was in 2001. The huge ongoing cost in lives and materiel has left our armed services depleted. That is not stronger, that is just tired.

Why do seemingly not–brain-damaged people go on spouting these things about the Republican party as if they are true?
posted by Mister_A at 11:35 AM on October 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


Look, all of you should know that you shouldn't judge a movie until you've actually seen it.

It could actually be really, really good.

Right?
posted by clarenceism at 11:38 AM on October 2, 2008


Ohhh. So that's who will be voting for McCain/Palin.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:40 AM on October 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


They dramatically overestimate the appeal of Michael Moore to liberals.

I like Michael Moore's movies and think he's very talented, but he needs to (a) not be in his movies and (b) be more disciplined and have fewer stunts. His persona and antics often detract from the serious and valid points he makes.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:40 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


They remade the wrong movie.

Should'a been this one.
posted by el duque at 11:41 AM on October 2, 2008


So that is Chris Farley's brother, right?
posted by andromache at 11:43 AM on October 2, 2008


It's a measure of conservative wingnut discomfort that the movie was made, and is being touted by conservative wingnuts. I'm sorry to see it getting attention.
posted by theora55 at 11:45 AM on October 2, 2008


Pepsi Red State?
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:53 AM on October 2, 2008


I am favoriting ericb a gazillion times for "Lil O'reilly".
posted by wittgenstein at 11:56 AM on October 2, 2008


"Look, all of you should know that you shouldn't judge a movie until you've actually seen it. It could actually be really, really good."

It may well be hilarious. I certainly like the work of a lot of people starring in it. That's not the point.
posted by Naberius at 12:04 PM on October 2, 2008


I hope they use the zinger that Michael Moore is fat!
posted by Legomancer at 12:07 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of a North Korean drama-comedy, "Crimson Persimmon," about cynical, unpatriotic parents who refuse to let their daughter join the People's Army. But then the girl enlists anyway. One day her dad is watching TV, and who should drop by to congratulate the brigade but Kim Jong-Il. The father keels over in embarrassment!
posted by johngoren at 12:09 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


which was not available for preview is always a great sign.

Siskel and Ebert used to have a special "hall of shame" segment for movies that weren't available for preview. I don't know why they stopped, or why newspapers never mention in. It should certainly be more publicized than it is.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:11 PM on October 2, 2008


Except in this case, he really is just furious about it. You're vicious and evil and he sees red whenever he thinks about it, and he absolutely fucking despises you for hitting yourself.

I have no intention of going to this movie, but I would kind of like to hear an audience reaction to it. It won't be regular laughter, like the kind of laughter you hear at a normal comedy movie. It'll be mean laughter, laughter that says, "Now we've got you and you can't say anything." The thing about this kind of laughter, though, is that it gets boring really quickly, even for the people doing it.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:18 PM on October 2, 2008


It won't be regular laughter, like the kind of laughter you hear at a normal comedy movie. It'll be mean laughter...

I call that "community organizer" laughter.
posted by contessa at 12:26 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Good grief, people. It's just mildly amusing satire from the other side of the political spectrum to yours. It's not like every single jab at the reTHUGlicans made over the last few years has been a gem.

Here, look at the Bot the Angry Flower Slapping the Shit out of George W. Bush cartoon. That will calm you down from your fury over the notion that there's something amusing about repeatedly slapping a political opponent.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:40 PM on October 2, 2008


I always wonder about folks who espouse the idea that Obama is some sort of radical leftists zealot as their reason for disliking him.

I've always thought this results from a combination of fingers in the ears, and and ignorance about liberal politics in the rest of the world. When I used to work at an AM talk station, every time one of the hosts called a fairly moderate politician a "ultra-librul," or some such crap, I wanted to buy a CrimthInc book and surreptitiously leave it on their desk.
posted by god hates math at 12:40 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently, Gary Coleman shows up as a slave, & Barack Obama is mentioned as another slave.

I'm wondering if they'll mock Michael Moore for being oversensitive & whiny in a movie that is, itself, oversensitive & whiny.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:41 PM on October 2, 2008


Is it just me or does all Conservative humour reduce to "I'm strong, you're weak, and that's awesome"?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:55 PM on October 2, 2008 [9 favorites]


They dramatically overestimate the appeal of Michael Moore to liberals.

Tell me about it. It's like some lefties making a film lampooning the right by pillorying Jerome Corsi— I might, at the end of the day, agree with Moore politically, but that doesn't mean that I respect him or think he's honest or emblematic of my politics or anything.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:02 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do not want.
posted by oncogenesis at 1:11 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh ha! Racism! Awesome.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:24 PM on October 2, 2008


Things the movie will accuse Libruls of, while exemplifying:This is an incomplete list - additions are welcome!
posted by Pronoiac at 1:27 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


I wonder what reasons for disliking [Barack Obama] they are attempting to obfuscate with this faulty reasoning?

He's Not A Republican.

I'm pretty sure that's the entire point.
posted by mephron at 1:32 PM on October 2, 2008


I'm going to watch the trailer before making up my mind.
posted by ob at 1:34 PM on October 2, 2008


OK, I watched the trailer and it's actually not very funny. At all.
posted by ob at 1:37 PM on October 2, 2008


The YouTube comments are more entertaining than this movie will ever be. Possibly more thoughtful as well.
posted by brundlefly at 1:49 PM on October 2, 2008


What, is it Ill-Conceived Christmal Carol Remake by Formerly-Admired Director Whose Last Name Starts with "Z" Day already? I swear, it comes earlier every year.
posted by designbot at 1:52 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This weekend's box office results should be interesting. In addition to the "9/11 Carol", we have representing the Other Other Side, "Religulous" with Bill Maher running around interviewing bad religious leaders under the supervision of Borat's director, and representing No Side Let's Just Make Money, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", which reportedly steals half the story of Cheech's "Born in East L.A.", just with a talking dog with an American accent. I have no desire to see any of those movies, even if you give me a free pass and free Milk Duds.

Last week, conservative pundits were saying the Carol flick and the Christian Kirk Cameron firefighter romance movie "Fireproof" were going to 'show Liberal Atheist Hollywood what America really wants to see'. "Fireproof" opened last weekend with just under $7million while Shia TheBeef's "Eagle Eye" got $29million. But "Fireproof" opened in so many fewer theaters that the two movies' Per-Screen Average was about the same. (Those damned Atheist Liberal theater owners) So let's see how much Kirk & Co. drops-off since there were lots of "organized Church group" ticket sales last weekend.

Make that VERY interesting box office results. More interesting (for a moment) than the Economic Crisis and Presidential Campaign combined.

And yes, there are certainly more lame Liberal-bias comedies as Conservative-biased. But in the category "NOT LAME", the Lefties have a monopoly.
posted by wendell at 1:54 PM on October 2, 2008


I saw a trailer for this a couple of weeks ago, and initially I was kind of irritated at the idea of a right-wing hatchet job film, I mean, didn't we just suffer through a couple of Larry the Cable Guy films? How much more pain are we expected to endure?

Then I looked at the cast... and I figured that in an incredibly subversive act of cleverness, the left had constructed a film which purported to be a right-wing hand job, but would actually be a cunning deconstruction of the jingoistic concepts of Patriotism above all else.

But now, after reading about Zucker, I'm thinking that I was correct with my first impulse, and my subsequent hopes were really misplaced.

Pity.
posted by quin at 1:55 PM on October 2, 2008


What the hell is Eagle Eye? What is Le Beef up to? I don't have internet here so please help me out.
posted by Mister_A at 1:56 PM on October 2, 2008


I can hardly wait for the Conservative version of "It's a Wonderful Life": "It's Wonderful Being Mr. Potter".
posted by wendell at 1:57 PM on October 2, 2008 [9 favorites]


NEWSWEEK: Your movie is filled with jokes about Hollywood liberals. Was this a hard sell in town?
David Zucker: Hollywood studios did not want to make this. We finally found a French company, of all things, to distribute it. This ends all my snide remarks about the French.

-Newsweek

See, I think the Hollywood studios didn't want to make this film because it isn't funny and they didn't think they'd be able to make money on the damn thing.
posted by birdherder at 2:02 PM on October 2, 2008


Are there any examples of when conservative humor is, you know, funny? Maybe I've just been sheltered from the good stuff, but all I ever encounter from conservative comedians is casual sexism, casual racism, fart jokes and just general frat boy stupidity. Anyone?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:02 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the hell is Eagle Eye? What is Le Beef up to? I don't have internet here so please help me out.

Even with all the phone/mobile/smokesignal technology these days, it always amazes me to see a comment like that made ON A WEBSITE.

Here is IMDB's spoilerific synopsis for "Eagle Eye": Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) returns home after the mysterious death of his successful twin brother. He and a single mother, Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan), find out that they have been framed as terrorists, and they are threatened into becoming members of a cell tasked to assassinate a politician.

This movie may have a political bias (anti-fake-terrorist?), but I'm not going anywhere to see it either. (But free admission and free Milk Duds might sell me on this one)
posted by wendell at 2:06 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the Hollywood studios didn't want to make this film because it isn't funny and they didn't think they'd be able to make money on the damn thing.

Careful who you say this to; there are long lists circulating among the right-wingers of movies with a Liberal Bias that don't make money either. And when it comes to making money, you have to consider the millions in free advertising from O'Reilly and Rush and friends. Although fewer churches are making group ticket buys for this than they did for "Fireproof".
posted by wendell at 2:11 PM on October 2, 2008


Weirdly, this movie was financed (mentioned in passing in the Journal Sentinel article) by Ken and Diane Hendricks. Ken was a self-made billionaire, named entrepreneur of the year, and to a large degree the savior of Beloit, Wisconsin, including as founder of the Beloit International Film Festival. Apparently that led them to invest in the company that made this movie.

He was a nice guy; my dad knew him slightly. But of course a "staunch Republican". If it makes you feel any better, he was a roofer and then a roofing supplies magnate, and died in a fall through his own garage roof.
posted by dhartung at 2:12 PM on October 2, 2008


Are there any examples of when conservative humor is, you know, funny?

Let me repeat myself: "in the category "NOT LAME", the Lefties have a monopoly."
posted by wendell at 2:12 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are there any examples of when conservative humor is, you know, funny? Maybe I've just been sheltered from the good stuff, but all I ever encounter from conservative comedians is casual sexism, casual racism, fart jokes and just general frat boy stupidity. Anyone?

I wrote a longish comment about this awhile ago. A lot of good comedy is right-wing, but the American conservative movement has become so lost that you wouldn't really recognize this comedy as conservative anymore. The most obvious examples are Stone, Parker, Penn, and Teller.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:15 PM on October 2, 2008


The most obvious examples are Stone, Parker, Penn, and Teller.

You're right, of course. I was confusing "conservative" with "Republican". My mistake.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:20 PM on October 2, 2008


Careful who you say this to; there are long lists circulating among the right-wingers of movies with a Liberal Bias that don't make money either.

I'm pretty sure the list probably isn't that big. Considering they are making fun of a guy that grossed $120M on Fahrenheit 9/11, I'm wondering how long such a list would be. Moore also garnered a lot of free publicity from the outrage shown on the Fox News shows like O'Reilly and Fox & Friends.

(I was thinking "Fireproof" was the fake movie that is in the plotline of this season's Entourage and it would be funny if Ari starts representing Kirk Cameron.)
posted by birdherder at 2:21 PM on October 2, 2008


I'm pretty sure the list probably isn't that big. Considering they are making fun of a guy that grossed $120M on Fahrenheit 9/11, I'm wondering how long such a list would be.

That's kind of the funny thing about Republicans, especially Republicans who are also fundamentalists. They're very comfortable switching back and forth between calling themselves the majority and the minority.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:26 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Anybody actually seen Fireproof? I mean okay it's got famously Christian Kirk Cameron in it. (The one thing I know about this movie was some bit talking about how they had to use his rl wife as a kind of "stunt double" for his movie wife because he won't kiss anyone else.)

But it's described as a romance about firefighters, which doesn't sound especially Christian or obnoxious to me. We got a love story. Brave hero. Chicks dig firefighters. It's not exactly making the veins in my forehead pulse the way American Carol does. Could be quite nice in fact.

So is this just a movie with an actor (probably playing a character) who happens to be a Christian? Or does it somehow turn into some venomous Christianist diatribe? Like the bad guys are a cult of secular humanist arsonists with connections that go all the way to the highest levels of the Democratic party, or something?
posted by Naberius at 3:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) returns home after the mysterious death of his successful twin brother.

So we could potentially get to see Shia LaBeouf get killed twice? "Hello, and welcome to Moviefone."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:16 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Well Naberius, here's my favorite movie review site's take on Fireproof
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:40 PM on October 2, 2008


IMDB synopsis to the rescue again: "Fireproof": "Lt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings, it's his natural instinct. In the cooling embers of his marriage, it's another story. After a decade of marriage, Caleb and Catherine Holt have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's dad asks his son to try an experiment: The Love Dare. While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents' newfound faith, Caleb commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God's love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that's no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?"

The Love Dare? How is that not already a Reality TV show?
posted by wendell at 3:48 PM on October 2, 2008


I don't care for the polarizing pundit that Michael Moore has turned into with"Sicko" and whatnot, but as the neoliberalism/postindustrialism thing in America appears ready to implode this week, let's try to remember that no movie dealt as well with the birth of all that than Roger & Me. Consumerism, moving jobs overseas, management that doesn't know what the hell its doing and following trendy theories about diversification and whatnot that only hurt the company over the long term, a failure to make anything anymore except hotels and inane tourist emporiums (unless you count the lint brushes and Amway--which, interestingly enough, has GOP ties galore that Moore never mentions, and now ties to Blackwater), the growth of a prison/jail industry, etc. No matter what he took of context or whatever, it's one of the most hilarious and powerful movies I've ever seen. It's aged well, a satire with a still highly relevant bite.
posted by raysmj at 4:05 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I loved "Airplane!" and the Naked Gun/Police Squad stuff too. And one of those Naked Gun films (33 1/3) was a work of satire with a rather earnest argument in favor of the electric car and against the auto industry at its core. This Zucker wasn't responsible for those films alone, but his rabid conversion is disappointing all the same, more annoying than Andrew Sullivan's to the center-left, even (and that's mainly 'cause he can't keep shouting down people and acting like the angry angry angry pundit).
posted by raysmj at 4:10 PM on October 2, 2008


The Onion A.V. Club review of Fireproof.
posted by cog_nate at 4:40 PM on October 2, 2008


Okay then. Not nasty Christian but utterly unsubtle Christian conversion story that only has any emotional effect if you're already converted. A movie whose corner you pretty much have to be starting out in. And an infomercial for lame "new-Christian-age" relationship pop psych.

Got it.

At least the Onion review makes clear that, at some point, there actually is a fire in this movie. That's what I was thinking of. Something like Rescue Me without all the swearing or a lower budget Backdraft with a nice romantic subplot might not have been such a bad idea.
posted by Naberius at 5:03 PM on October 2, 2008


Are there any examples of when conservative humor is, you know, funny?

P.J. O'Rourke has done some good work in this regard. Granted, he's more of a humor writer than a performer, and he has had several lapses into casual sexism and frat-boy jokes, but - you know, I will forever love him for his comment in an interview in 1992 that he hadn't yet met Ross Perot because "I've not yet been able to find the bridge he lives under so he can attack billygoats."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are there any examples of when conservative humor is, you know, funny? Maybe I've just been sheltered from the good stuff, but all I ever encounter from conservative comedians is casual sexism, casual racism, fart jokes and just general frat boy stupidity. Anyone?

H.L. Mencken and PJ O'Rourke are famously conservative as well as genuinely funny (intentionally). Mencken died in 1956 with his best work having been done 30-40 years before, and PJ O'Rourke has been around since the 1970s, and the last funny thing he wrote was in the 1990s

Conservative humor works best when it's anti-populist... it has to represent a cynical disdain for liberal democratic public pieties ("Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard" by Mencken and "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys," by O'Rourke) Conservative humor commonly fails because it just can't help kicking people while they're down. Humor's supposed to kick up or take the air out of a blowhard. I guess if you find making fun of poor people and homeless people funny, more power to you, but most people find it sort of unseemly. At its worst it's just plain degrading. When conservatism stopped being an enterprise that was all about confronting us with the failures of our ideals and how we deal with that contradiction but instead become trying to be the biggest dick in the room, it was hard to make anything funny out of that.
posted by deanc at 9:57 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


A lot of humor is about giving the finger to power. Modern-day "conservatives" are at their core sycophants, above all else. They worship the boot in their faces. Thus, by definition, they cannot be funny.
posted by bardic at 11:43 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


deanc: Exactly. The same is true of Florence King, who is semi-to-mostly retired. I used to pick up the National Review at libraries years ago just to read her columns on the back page. She described herself as a misanthrope and monarchist, by all reports didn't like the populist direction of latter-day conservatives. (Molly Ivins was apparently a fan as well, to the point where she plagiarized a sentence or two of King's. They had a pretty funny exchange about it, once Ivins had admitted guilt and shame over the incident.)
posted by raysmj at 11:50 PM on October 2, 2008


Wow, raysmj, thanks for that; I had been wondering if King was still around for a while (of course she may not be, but I have not seen any obits). Ivins of course is not, and O'Rourke has been diagnosed with cancer, although treatable, he says.

I find most of King's politics appalling, but her gift for humor rises above them, frankly; she is far too intelligent to be welcome in the Dumbened Republican party.

"Conservative" humorists, to me, are usually those who are simply extreme curmudgeons and therefore unable to suspend their dislike of fellow humans long enough to engage in the messiness of politics and reform. Dennis Miller used to be this way until he stopped allowing himself to make fun of anyone but liberals. The problem is, you can't be accepted into modern Republicanism if you're not willing to do just that.
posted by emjaybee at 9:12 AM on October 3, 2008


Look, all of you should know that you shouldn't judge a movie until you've actually seen it.

It could actually be really, really good.


I think it will literally redefine the word "comedy."
posted by EarBucket at 10:02 AM on October 3, 2008


One of the difficulties in generating Conservative Humor is attracting the talent. By its very definition, the Conservative movement repels freshness of thought and people who enjoy exploring the gray areas of the human condition (by "gray" I don't mean sad and depressed, I mean the opposite of "black and white.") Those with artistic temperament don't generally find themselves inspired by authoritarianism. It's the same reason that Conservatives can't claim too many Rock & Rollers as their own.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:02 PM on October 3, 2008


So is anyone willing to take one for the team and go see it?
posted by drezdn at 9:10 AM on October 6, 2008


Metacritic is currently giving it a 16, and while it's not the lowest score they've ever given, it's in the bottom 100.
posted by quin at 9:32 AM on October 6, 2008


And RottenTomatoes currently has it at 36%. But don't let that fool you - even the good reviews are bad:
I'm giving it a just-barely-recommended grade not because it's terribly funny (which it isn't), but because it's fascinating as a cultural artifact. - Eric D. Snider
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:05 AM on October 6, 2008


PJ O'Rourke is basically "The 60's sucked and anything that reminds me even a little bit of the way I was back then sucks."
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:01 AM on October 6, 2008


Bill Maher Kicks Zucker’s Ass At The Box Office: "Religulous, however, was on less than one third of the screens that American Carol was ...The per-screen average of Religulous was three times that of An American Carol. Three times as many people showed up in each theater to see it."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:48 PM on October 6, 2008


Is American Carol trying to blame its poor showing on theater workers mis-ringing sales?
posted by drezdn at 12:42 PM on October 7, 2008


That fraud page is throwing a 404 now, this is what it said,
We have had heard from numerous people across the country that there has been some ticket fraud when buying a ticket for An American Carol this past weekend.

Please check your ticket. If you were in fact one of those people that were “mistakenly” sold a ticket for another movie please fill out the form below. Hold on to your ticket so we can have proof.

If you have noticed other irregularities with the theatres in your area please let us know in the comment section below. For instance, Rated R film rating (when in fact we are rated PG-13), posters not being up, not being listed on the marquee, image or focus problems, sound issues, etc.

Please email us a picture of your ticket stub to fraud@americancarol.com

We are investigating.
posted by Tenuki at 1:46 PM on October 7, 2008


When all you have is a hammer...
posted by roll truck roll at 4:49 PM on October 7, 2008


Is American Carol trying to blame its poor showing on theater workers mis-ringing sales?

As we all know, conservatives are continually being victimized.
posted by brundlefly at 4:53 PM on October 7, 2008


Yes, the number of ways that they are persecuted is amazing. I mean, the way the gay atheist entertainment industrial complex infiltrated their agents into theaters to to ring up all sales for this movie as actually going to some stupid documentary from that Muslim loving queer on HBO?

It's sickening, truly.
posted by quin at 5:34 PM on October 7, 2008


They're specifically targeted because of their emphasis on individualism and self-sufficiency, not to mention their hard stand against the culture of victimhood.
posted by brundlefly at 6:20 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


"We have had heard from numerous people across the country that there has been some ticket fraud when buying a ticket for An American Carol this past weekend...."

This...this is....

....this is beautiful.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:34 AM on October 8, 2008


« Older Think you've got problems caused by economic meltd...  |  Don't vote.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments