There was no technical glitch, no problem with the call-in. Nope. The hard fact is: Americans take their dreamz very seriously.
Horror we like. Parody we like. Formulaic scary movies made over as formulaic slapstick comedy we like. Dr. Phil getting hit on the head we like. Satire? Maybe it hits a little too close to home. The answer was in American Dreamz’s tagline all along: “Imagine a country where the President never reads the newspaper, where the government goes to war for all the wrong reasons, and more people vote for a pop idol than their next President.” Seems a lot of people read that three or four times and realized, “Hey, that sounds a lot like OUR country? Hey, maybe that IS our country? Hey… are those Hollywood snobs making fun of me? I love American Idol! I love Katherine McPhee, sometimes to the point of criminal prosecution! And I don’t want to think about George W. Bush, or even a middling Dennis Quaid impression of George W. Bush, because I might just burst into tears! And so, for all these reasons and more, I will be choosing the contorted flesh monsters of Silent Hill over the contorted flesh monsters of American Dreamz. In fact, I will be choosing The Benchwarmers over American Dreamz. Pretty much anything but American Dreamz, that’s my choice.”
Of course, the other possibility is: Maybe American Dreamz was just… bad. I saw nothing in the trailers or commercials that made me rush to the theater, I can tell you that. And personally, I consider Bush and American Idol two completely specific and discrete social cancers — blending them seems to fall somewhere between the tendentious and the pretentious. (Michael Slezak is, at this moment, fashioning a crude, Mandisa-shaped bludgeon out of driftwood and heading to my office.) But this all comes from someone who saw exactly zero movies this weekend. So I turn to you, readers. Who saw American Dreamz this weekend? Anyone?
I know Americans aren’t too stupid for social satire. We made Wag the Dog a modest hit, remember? (Of course, satire came so easily to us in the Clinton years…) Nowadays, the world might be a tad too sad, and we might be a tad too self-serious.
But post below, friends, and prove me wrong: What was the last great film satire?
addCredit(“American Dreamz: Glen Wilson”)