Friday, August 01, 2008


Michael Moore Is Fat: The Musical

I trust the guy behind this movie to produce a nuanced, subtle look at American politics, don't you?

That does it. The next time somebody busts out the "liberal Hollywood" canard around me, I am going to punch them in the goddamned throat.

As with many of Zucker’s earlier films, his latest japefest is loaded with sight gags and a litany of one-liners, but there are few sacred cows. Along with many Muslim terrorists named Mohammed, even severely handicapped children are subject to the film’s screwball comedy. Jimmy Carter shows up for a brief razzing, but far more relevant Dems, including Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, seem conspicuous in their absence.

Instead, Zucker (with co-writer Myrna Sokoloff) mocks the usual conservative targets: ACLU attorneys, liberal colleges and anti-war protesters. The movie saves its most severe scorn for the main character, a slovenly documentary filmmaker based on Oscar winner Michael Moore. The attack is literally scorched-earth style: In a climactic scene, Moore’s stand-in (here named “Michael Malone”) finds political clarity at the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center while the admonishing ghost of George Washington (played by Voight) hovers nearby.

Anarchist humor and conservative politics make for strange bedfellows. Another “Carol” scene takes place inside a portable toilet stall, where Malone is repeatedly slapped around by real-life Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, accompanied by the spirits of former President John F. Kennedy and World War II icon Gen. George Patton.

Using Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” as a loose framework, Scrooge’s holiday humbuggery is replaced with Malone’s anti-American bias. Not only does the character attempt a boycott of the Fourth of July, but he also lends unwitting aid to jihadists plotting to blow up Madison Square Garden. Through the imagined interventions of Patton, the dead presidents and country singer Trace Adkins, Moore’s surrogate travels through history, eventually coming around to embrace patriotic values.

Yes, folks, one of the producers behind Airplane! has made a movie where Michael Moore Malone, well-known traitor to America and hater of all its values who has shown his burning hatred for our country by pointing out the areas where it could use work and our values have been short-sighted, gets the shit beat out of him by conservative figures and is reminded that 9/11 changed everything. Oh, and apparently all Muslims are the same person, and cripples are a laugh-a-minute. But David Zucker, who achieved political clarity around 9/11 (hello, Brain Eater!), swears it's all about the American spirit:

But Zucker has been mulling a big-screen mauling of Moore for years. He alluded obliquely to his movie project in a 2006 interview with conservative radio host Michael Medved and told the Los Angeles Jewish Journal around the same time, “You have people like Michael Moore going into foreign countries saying Americans are the stupidest people in the world. I want to tell the real America story, that America is a force for good.”

Okay, here's all I can say to that: fuck you, Zucker. No wait, I can say more, though I can't believe that I have to say it: Just because someone says that America is flawed does not mean that they want to take a shit on the Constitution and burn the White House to the ground. Just because someone says that our fine nation needs work and the people in power have fucked it over does not mean that they think we should dig up George Washington's corpse, burn it, and scatter the ashes to the four winds. Just because someone questions the established order does not mean they are guilty of high treason.

And seriously, if America's such a fucking force for good, then why do we keep putting out the Scary Movie franchise?

Damn. I love the spoofs of the '80s and early '90s (the '00 crop is, er, lacking), so I've always been a fan of Zucker's. It's not so much his politics that upset me, but the fact that he's apparently forgotten that overt political statements can ruin a good spoof.
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