A guest today at the Heritage Foundation’s weekly bloggers’ luncheon was Myrna Sokoloff, a writer of the new David Zucker movie, “American Carol,” which mocks all the mockables among the American left. Zucker is one of the originators of the movie comedy classics “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun,” the broad humor, sight gag, pun-filled spoofs that have become a movie genre unto themselves (that genre being broad humor, sight gag, pun-filled spoofs).
Sokoloff made the pitch that “American Carol” is unprecedented, a overtly conservative, major comedy that takes on the Hollywood-dominating Left. She emphasized the principles that informed the movie, including a belief in America as a force for good, support for the military and the defense of faith.
Ugh. Another preachy, didactic movie, right? OK, “Z” was good, but that was a long time ago and foreign, besides.
But then Sokoloff showed the trailer and some clips, and it’s “Airplane!” takes on “Roger and Me,” with the target being a Michael Moore-like movie director (played by Kevin Farley) and his campaign against the 4th of July. This modern anti-American Scrooge is taken in hand by the ghosts…Jon Voight as George Washington, Kelsey Grammer as George Patton, and Trace Adkins as the Ghost of Christmas Future.
Judging from the clips, it’s funny. Pretty darn funny. Which is what counts, at least for the bottom line. The movie is being distributed by Vivendi (Variety article) and is expected to hit 2,000 theaters with an Oct. 3rd release date. Sokoloff says moviegoing fans of comedy are one target, but she specifically asked conservatives to support the movie by attending. That’s not a winning argument, in our book; we’re rather eat our broccoli. But a pro-American movie that’s funny, OK, we’ll see it in the theater instead of waiting for the TV broadcast.
The publicity has definitely been low key, purposefully restrained, with the only journalist allowed on the movie set being The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, who wrote a piece, “Hollywood Takes on the Left.” The promotion blitz starts tomorrow.
UPDATE: David Weigel of Reason seemed to share the same ambivalence about today’s presentation. An appeal to see entertainment for ideological purposes just doesn’t sell to non-leftist crowds. But again, the clips were funny. Except for the serious one.
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