The new season of "American Dreamz," the wildly popular television singing contest, has captured the country's attention, as the competition looks to be between a young Midwestern gal (Moore) and a showtunes-loving young man from Orange County (Golzari). Recently awakened President Staton (Quaid) even wants in on the craze, as he signs up for the potential explosive season finale.
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Martin Tweed is the host of a talent show called American Dreamz, and whilst he despises each new season, it's a hit with the ratings. Tweed decides it's time for a new and interesting batch of contestants, and sends out his team to find the weirdest bunch possible. Whilst all this is happening, the President of the United States is becoming more and more depressed, and relies on his Chief of Staff to talk him through everything, even into appearing as a judge on the TV show. Perfect news for the terrorists who use the talent contest as a way to reach the President. Written by
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No poignant satire, just a superficially adapted treatment
It could've been good, it could've been funny, it could've been poignant, it could've been merciless and harsh. However, American DREAMZ is nothing like it. It's a "what if" idea that seems just like an adapted treatment. I can imagine the brainstorming session: "What if we made a satire on "American Idol", or "Pop Idol"?" - "Yeah, that'd be a real blast!" - "Oh, oh, what if the candidates are a Orthodox Jew and an Arabian terrorist sleeper!" - "Great, but we need some sex appeal, how about a curvaceous white trash go-getter?" - "And for the host we have Hugh as Simon Callow, he wants to play someone nasty." "Swell!" That doesn't sound like a satire so far, just a spoof? True, but the biggie woofer idea is: "What if we make the dumb President of the United States a guest juror!" "Whoah! And he just found his conscience, and - get this - READS newspapers! And his chief of staff is worried so he tries to get the Prez back on track, where he was his puppet on a string..." American DREAMZ is mildly funny, but it ain't no WAG THE DOG, DR. STRANGELOVE, NETWORK or MASH. None of the characters gain any depth and remain farcially shallow, none of the story lines evolve, they just hit the next destined treatment milestones, whether the story lead to it or not. This film doesn't annoy you, but you sit in your seat, desperately wanting to laugh. And there is much potential for a sharp, witty comedy. But almost none of it gets fired up fully. Plainly a missed opportunity!
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