An American Carol
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“”Far from lampooning the Left, "Carol" insults conservatives by presuming that they are so simple as to be won over by fat jokes and flatulence. But the audience, imagining itself to be persecuted by Hollywood, is so grateful to be flattered by Zucker and company that they chuckle obediently at every cheap laff. Conservatives, once the scourge of coarsening culture, are happy to play crass as long as the joke is on liberals.
|—Michael Brendan Doherty, The American Conservative|
An American Carol, also known as Big Fat Important Movie,[note 1] is a witless attempt at propaganda by David Zucker, the politically liberal turned conservative co-director of Airplane![note 2] and director of The Naked Gun, Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4. The film stars a predominately right-wing cast including Kevin Farley, Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight, James Woods, Robert Davi, Trace Adkins, Dennis Hopper, Kevin Sorbo, and Leslie Nielsen.
Film director/left-wing activist Michael Malone (subtle, huh?) is campaigning to abolish Independence Day (OMG!), citing the history of America as being offensive and riddled with violence and injustice. Malone also has a nephew whom he treats horribly, just because he's a U.S. Navy officer and is shipping out to the Persian Gulf (because, you know, all left-wingers hate soldiers). Later, Malone is visited by three ghosts: the spirits of General Patton, John F. Kennedy,[note 3] and George Washington try to change Malone's view of America and tell him that war is sometimes a necessary evil.
After seeing things like a world where Lincoln didn't fight the Civil War[note 4] and seeing the New York church where Washington was inaugurated as president filled with dust from the destruction of the World Trade Center, Malone becomes a changed man and comes to fully love America.
In common with movies
with a conservative point of view that are very bad, it received generally poor reviews—at least from liberals, because anyone giving the movie a bad review is automatically classed as liberal. While the evil media elite like The New York Times lambasted An American Carol for its poor writing, sloppy pace and lazy acting, true bulwarks of taste like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin have seen the film and crowed about it being a comedy for conservatives. Even the notable Chicago Tribune called it a film "for the right wing." Truly this is a film for the ages, a great mark in the history of satire.
Michael Moore was shown a clip of the film while guest-starring on Larry King Live and mentioned that he had heard of the film. When asked how he felt about it, Moore merely said that he hoped it would be funny. Buzzkill!
The critics weren't the only ones underwhelmed by Zucker's wingnut magnum
bogus dopus opus. Audiences responded by staying away in droves. Carol landed at the box office like a turd at a cotillion. With a production budget of $20 million, it needed a box office take of $40 million to break even. It finished with $7,013,191. Conservatives, characteristically unwilling to limit themselves to a judicious study of discernible reality, immediately realized Carol flopped not because it was unfunny, but because those mean ol' liberals sabotaged it.
The overall poor quality of the film is disturbing for one of the brains behind Airplane!,[note 2] as the jokes aren't even funny and the acting hovers between the levels of "C-minus" and "phoning it in." This film wasn't even screened for critics, which is understandable. Apart from the fact that most of the alleged comedy comes from the poorly-disguised Michael Moore "parody" either getting smacked in the face or eating too much,[note 5] the steep conservative slant shoots the movie in the foot, cleans and bandages the wound, and then shoots it again several times. Between the stereotypical conservative view of liberal ideology, tasteless evocation of 9/11 and the ridiculous alternate Americas depicted (billboards for “Victoria’s Burka,” anyone?), Zucker's piece of wingnut propaganda joined his Scary Movie 4 in the bargain bin at the back of movie stores, and An American Carol is the last feature-length movie he's directed to date. And even though Michael Moore took the film good-naturedly, Charles Dickens' corpse probably hit 10,000 rpm when it came out.
- An American Carol - the trailer (okay, so that bitch slap he gets at the end is pretty funny)
- One particular "review"
- AV Club's My World of Flops on the film
- The Flop House discuss the film.
- Seriously. This is the title adopted in the UK and other countries outside North America (where the release has largely been straight to DVD). See for example the Amazon listing.
- Also known as Flying High!
- Apparently Zucker is unaware JFK was, if anything, to the left of Obama (although he was more of an interventionist than today's liberals, Kennedy's foreign policy actions were made with a Cold War mindset). JFK becomes an even odder choice when you consider that the beginning of the escalation in Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs fiasco occurred on his watch (neither a sterling case for military intervention), or that JFK (fortunately) didn't resort to war over the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- We don't have to elaborate on the irony of a red stater agreeing with Honest Abe.
- And El Rushbo didn't seem to mind.
- Doherty, "Film Rights", October 20, 2008.
- Nathan Lee, "Comic Right-Wing Broadside (Very Broad)," The New York Times, October 4, 2008.
- Review by Michael Phillips on October 3, 2008, reprinted in The Dallas Morning News.
- Box Office Mojo An American Carol page
- Vast Leftwing Conspiracy as An American Carol Goes to the Dogs?, Lisa Derrick, The Huffington Post, November 8, 2008.