February 23, 2009
‘An American Carol’ airball
Back in the fall, our arts and entertainment editor asked me if I wanted to write a feature about David Zucker’s new film “An American Carol.” The catch: we wouldn’t get to see the movie. I declined, and when I made the mistake last night of renting “An American Carol” I understood why screenings weren’t offered.
Zucker, who previously told The Journal about his conversion to conservatism, directed “Airplane!” and the “Naked Gun” trilogy. But among his more recent films, “BASEketball” left a lot to be desired and “Scary Movie 3” and “Scary Movie 4” were downright awful.
“An American Carol” was worse.
The premise of the film is that Muslim terrorists are looking for an American filmmaker to improve their recruitment video. (The old version was actually funny, though I can’t find a clip.) The terrorists turn to Michael Malone, a not-at-all-subtle impersonation of Michael Moore.
I laughed at the Moovealong.org Leni Riefenstahl Award for best documentary, which, of course, the mock Moore character receives for his film “Die, You American Pigs.” But after the opening scene in Afghanistan, during which a Taliban foot soldier gets scolded for wanting to vote—“We need a guest-worker program so that Mexicans can do the jobs the Taliban won’t”—“An American Carol” is light on humor and heavy on propaganda.
Indeed, David Zucker has made the right-wing equivalent of a Michael Moore film, except the poorly executed satire comes off as moralizing.