Does political humor have to align with your politics before you can find it funny? That's the question I kept asking myself while watching An American Carol, David Zucker's comic skewering of the American Left in general and Michael Moore in particular. Admittedly, I laughed only rarely, but was it because Zucker's taking his pot shots from the right side of the aisle or because the pot shots themselves, in a purely esthetic sense, were so lame? There were some people a few rows back who seemed to be enjoying the sheer effrontery of it all - liberals being pelted with cow pies. But drowning out their laughter was the sound of an ax being ground. Zucker apparently really does believe that Michael Moore is both a big, fat liar and a traitor to his country. Oh, and a slob. Who smells bad.
This from one of the guys who brought us the hilariously bipartisan Airplane! and Naked Gun. Zucker reportedly converted to Republicanism right after 9/11, and An American Carol is part of the blowback, a screed posing as a spoof. There's some utterly inane stuff in there, thank God, but most of the political barbs are aimed squarely at Moore's backside. Here, he's called Michael Malone, and he's played by Kevin Farley, brother of Chris, who looks the part but can't seem to find the way to our funny bones. Systematically destroying the Land of the Free, Malone has now set his sights on the Fourth of July, which he hopes to abolish. Meanwhile, a trio of Afghani jihadis is trying to get him to direct a propaganda film for them, a premise that's good for any number of those-wacky-terrorists bits.
Hey, I like a beheading joke as much as the next guy - actually, I don't, but if you're going to make one, you ought to go to the trouble of making a good one. What's interesting is the number of times the jokes get away from Zucker, as when the ACLU is portrayed as a bunch of never-say-die zombies who have to be gleefully shot over and over again to keep them from asserting their constitutional rights. Who's the butt of this joke, again? Various members of the Hollywood Right appear in the movie, including Jon Voight as George Washington, who berates Malone for having abused our freedom of speech. Since when is speaking your mind, to as many people as will listen, abusing our freedom of speech? Michael Moore should be flattered by all the attention, flattered and more than a little bored.