This film was disappointing. I am definitely more of a liberal than a conservative, but was looking forward to seeing what I thought was going to be an insightful parody of Michael Moore, whose films I enjoy, but whom I admit has a definite slant and probably leaves out details damaging to his arguments. What I saw instead was a rude, immature slap-in-the-face to liberals and independents, and a blind-faith ass-kissing of the United States government.
The movie does make a good point about the damage caused to our country caused by a lack of morale and a lot of self-hating. However, instead of wisely acknowledging that we should try and remember how important it is to stand up for freedom and to protect ourselves from aggressors, even if out patriotism is lacking while the present administration and other forces in our government are lying, cheating, stealing, and killing to further their own wealth, power, and political agendas, An American Carol white-washes the entire situation to make it seem as if those who are discontent are angry about nothing, and that everything is just fine, and that we should quit thinking and questioning and instead just shut up and blindly pledge our allegiance to whatever war that those in power are currently profiting from.
An American Carol tries to include humor in it’s message, but relies, primarily, on making fun of Michael Moore’s weight by suggesting that he is constantly pigging out, making fun of his smell, saying that he needs a bath, and having characters slap him. This makes me think that the film was made with the intention of pleasing hateful conservatives, but not concerned with changing the minds of their opposition. It’s kind of like a loud, rude parent who tries to “slap sense” into their children; not much teaching happens, as the one who is supposed to learn a lesson instead just learns resentment. There is a lack of clever dialogue; most of the conversations are just predictable insults towards liberals, and little kids using “vulgar” words. To be fair, many favorite lampoons by liberals and for liberals can be a little juvenile in their parodies of conservative symbols like George W Bush, making fun of his reading difficulties, speach impediments, memory problems, and choking on pretzels. However, these are well known aspects of the man’s public character and help to make any depiction of him believable, whereas, in Michael Moore’s public appearances, be they interviews or on in his films, we don’t see him snacking incessantly, farting, being slapped, or being asked to bathe, so I don’t feel that these behaviors were necessary to establish that it was Moore who was being made fun of in this film.
So, in terms of entertainment and realism, this movie is a failure.
However, the film is educational, in that it is an excellent summary of the current beliefs and attitudes of most conservative thinkers. It makes use of the same fallacies of logic that conservatives love to use when attempting to argue with liberals. Conservatives try to imply that if you don’t agree with your president, your government, or them, that you are not patriotic about your country. This is very convenient, as it allows the ass-kissing, brainwashed fools among us to quickly and easily convert the easily brainwashable to their side, and this is, after all, their target demographic, as individuals who are possessed of free thought or the ability to question authority end up being liberal in their philosophies. For example, in the film, Michael Malone is explaining key issues like the need for healthcare to General Patton, and Patton blows him off, suggesting that by making a fuss about such things, he is actually helping terrorists! This is absurd, and hearkens back to the conservative notion of “America: love it, or leave it!”, which doesn’t allow for the popular position of loving what it should be and trying to fix it.
It is frustrating to me to think of all the conservatives out there, who, after watching this very immature, though perhaps well intentioned movie, are sitting around, smiling, laughing, patting each other on their backs, and agreeing that their point has been made. If only they could realize that their point can only be made to themselves, and never to those they are disagreeing with. Sadly, our points can’t be made to them either.
And thus, the American Civil War, which began when this land was colonized by poor peasants and rich merchants, and reached it’s height in the late 1800s with battles between the north and south, continues onward into a fifth century.