EW Staff
February 10, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

American Dreamz

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
115 minutes
Wide Release Date
04/21/06
performer
Hugh Grant, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Marcia Gay Harden
director
Paul Weitz
distributor
Universal
author
Paul Weitz
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B+

For anyone who’s ever tried to connect the dots between al-Qaeda and American Idol, you’re not alone. Pondering his own fascination with both Bo Bice and President Bush’s foreign policy, writer/director Paul Weitz (American Pie, In Good Company) decided to see what would happen if he took what he calls ”the frenzy of imbecility in our celebrity culture” and threw it into a comedic blender with serious questions about the state of our Union and the war on terror.

The resulting smashup stars Hugh Grant as the self-loathing host of the Idol-style show American Dreamz, Mandy Moore as a starry-eyed Dreamz contestant, Dennis Quaid as a Dubya-like president, and newcomer Sam Golzari as Omer, a show-tune-loving terrorist torn between his dream of becoming the next Clay Aiken and his plan to carry out a suicide mission. Sound odd? Weitz won’t argue: ”It’s a weird combination. Ninety percent is flat-out comedy, going for relatively cheap laughs, but at the same time it’s got the most serious content of any film I’ve worked on.” While Weitz acknowledges his own opinions of the current administration are ”fairly vehement,” he insists that, politically speaking, Dreamz is an equal opportunity offender. ”There’s something in here to upset pretty much everybody,” he promises. ”It’s truly perverse.” (April 21)

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