Okay, first confession...
If "An American Carol" was directed by most anyone by David Zucker it would be a passing, albeit "D" range, grade. This isn't, by any means, an indicator of a bias against Zucker. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I KNOW Zucker is capable of a much better film than "An American Carol," a right-wing, pro-American, anti-Michael Moore comedy (I never laughed) designed to skewer those left-wing radical liberals.
It fails. Miserably.
First off, isn't it a bit late to focus an entire freakin' film around Michael Moore? Sure, Michael Moore is still around making films but if this film was going to be made shouldn't it have been made, say, within a year of "Fahrenheit 9/11?"
Basically, the lazy writin' and filmmakin' Zucker has copped a basic storyline from Charles Dickens and planted "Michael Malone" (Kevin Farley, Chris's not nearly as funny brother) right in the middle of it.
Can't you just feel the laugh riot happening?
I kinda sorta want to defend the actual actors who signed onto this film, like Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper, since nearly every actor has signed on for a paycheck film or two.
Seriously, though, how much could they really have been paid for this tripe?
If this film was a paycheck film, perhaps it's time to consider another profession?
Zucker, who pretty much created the spoof genre with the hilarious "Airplane," has been on a steady downward spiral for years. "An American Project" speeds up the process considerably.
"An American Carol" serves up quite a number of noted right-leaning celebs in cameos including country singer Trace Adkins, Leslie Nielsen, Mary Hart, Bill O'Reilly, Gary Coleman (Really!), Jon Voight, James Woods, David Alan Grier, Paris Hilton and a host of others who mostly just have a hard time finding steady work these days.
While I wasn't even remotely entertained during "An American Carol," watching the film did give me time to ponder a few conclusions-
- Republican filmmakers suck. No, really. They do.
- Paris Hilton may be the richest actress to never make a decent film.
- Gary Coleman truly will do anything for spending money.
- Trace Adkins should stick to singing.
- I miss Chris Farley.
- David Zucker isn't funny anymore. I'm starting to wonder if he really wrote "Airplane!" Maybe he did a Milli Vanilli on us?
- The Dickens cider joke still makes me chuckle. Nothing in this film made me chuckle.
- I thought Leslie Nielsen was dead. I really did.
- This film may hurt Voight's reconciliation with Angelina.
I could go on and on. I won't...unlike Zucker, who seems to have never met a joke he didn't want to beat down into comic oblivion.
Seriously, now, I can't fathom a reason for you to see this film. Even the most diehard Trace Adkins fan should wait until the film arrives on home video in time for the holidays. Here's hoping "An American Carol" will be the perfect Christmas gift for the grieving Republican come December.
by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic