Can a Conservative Comedy Be Funny?


An American Carol

(PG-13; 83 min.) If its technique matched its aim, this erstwhile comedy would have been one of the most repulsive films ever made. But director David Zucker is a yucksmith first and a new-minted conservative second; he doesn’t have the concentration to make this as accusatory as he wants it to be. He can’t resist the crippled-kid bashing jokes, even when he’s hanging with people who take their kitsch straight with no chaser. Bart Simpson once called the continued making and remaking of A Christmas Carol “milking the goat”; the nanny’s gone dry as of this fest of bitch-slapping-the-messenger. The film is a Fourth of July eve hallucination by the obese slob of a documentary maker Michael Malone (“Michael Moore” by another name, played by the hulking yet lightweight Kevin Farley). Gen. George Patton (Kelsey Grammer) appears to man up the filmmaker; George Washington (Jon Voigt), shows Malone the dust of 3,000 slain World Trade Center victims. A musical number about tenured radicals is maybe the low point, despite all of the above. The only thing worthy of a laugh is provided by a doddering Leslie Nielsen, auditioning for the role of Osama Bin Laden in a movie; he waves a scimitar and mutters some Othello lines about “uncircumsized dogs.” 


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