Saturday, October 18, 2008

Unfunny Carol

Sorry, but no.
A unanimously negative media response to the political slapstick movie American Carol reinforces my theory that humor -- and satire in particular -- is an accurate litmus test of one's political and ideological convictions, even if one insists on having no convictions at all. If you want to check your friends' politics, take them to see this conservative comedy and watch the reaction.
My wife and I went on opening week with great excitement - imagine, a comedy made by the guy who made Kentucky Fried Movie that's going to skewer Michael Moore and the wackos of the American Left!
On the one-stop movie website that rates films on a 100% scale, American Carol scored an almost unprecedented 0% from top critics, a miserable 13% from all critics, and a whopping 72% from the RT community (the community score would probably be higher if liberal activists didn't bomb it with zero ratings). For added objectivity I also made a comparative list of critical quotes. The results will astound you -- but more on that later.
The opening segment of the movie is so moronic that it makes you squirm with discomfort. It's a bit about incompetent terrorists who blow up their leader's car as they attempt to launch a suicide bombing. Very bad stuff.
Subjective beliefs are shared by large groups of people: nations, cultures, political parties, and Oprah fan clubs. It's only natural to gravitate toward people who share our beliefs; we feel more comfortable with those whose reactions are consistent with ours. On the flip side, however, it's just as natural to see those who don't share our beliefs as wrong, depraved, and stupid.
And that's precisely what film critics must have felt when they were forced, due to the lack of screenings, to see American Carol in theaters, sitting next to the cheering and laughing fellow Americans: wrong, depraved, and stupid. Feeding off a different belief system than the rest of the country, the "mainstream media" critics were not amused with the jokes whose premise they didn't condone or even understand.
My wife was the first one to crack - "do you want to go?" she asked. "No, I should see this," I answered, hopeful that it would get better. It had to get better. But ten minutes later I gave up. "Let's get out of here," I said. "This is the worst film I've ever seen."
To get a better perspective I looked up reviews of a liberal comedy Religulous with Bill Maher that opened in theaters simultaneously with American Carol (in case you're wondering, Religulous was never labeled as "liberal," "left-wing," or even "political").
We got our refund, drove around the corner to the theater that shows independent films and went reluctantly into Religulous - the only film with an appropriate starting time. I hate Bill Maher and his smarmy attitude. Guess what. His film was funny.
Bill Maher's idea of funny? A hundred and one minutes of bashing religion by a sad confused comedian who thinks that faith is "a neurological disorder."
It was obnoxious, I didn't agree with it's conclusions, and Maher was still smarmy, but it was funny.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It didn't look like American Carol was funny and you know the movie critics were going to can it even if it was brilliant.
As far as Bill Maher goes...can't stand him and NEVER thought he was or is funny.