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An American Carol
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Reviews & Ratings for
An American Carol More at IMDbPro »

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141 out of 241 people found the following review useful:

More of a parody of the conservative movement

1/10
Author: Greg from Westport, CT
17 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As I read the reviews here of the film, I see many comments of the type "I think like that..." which is further evidence of certain aspects of the hard-right mindset than it is about problems with liberals. One can debate about whether something is "funny" or not, I found this film funny for about 5 minutes, the rest was boring and some of it downright offensive. First, as full disclosure, I am a liberal but am NOT a fan of Michael Moore. I agree with much of what he has to say but I think he loses the power of some of his arguments by being overly provocative I also find him unpleasant as a personality. But when we look at this film, we see the basic problems of the conservative mindset, everything is a caricature, everything is so simple good guys vs. bad guys. One could argue that these could be a caricature of the movement itself, but from the reactions here, it would seem that those who liked the movie see it as "socking it to those liberals..."

First let's look at the basic premise of the movie: Mike Malone wants the 4th of July Holiday banned because he, in his heart of hearts, hates America. Um, again, I don't particularly like Moore, but should a caricature not have some remote basis in fact? Watch Sicko, watch Fahrenheit 911, watch Roger and Me. Where exactly is a hatred for America and patriotism? Exactly in which scene does this occur? What does he say to suggest this? In fact, this is the typical reductio ad absurdum strawman that conservatives love to build - so-in-so is bad! He is fat! He hates America, he loves terrorists. Don't listen to him or respect him. Take Moore's last film, Sicko. Moore discusses the millions of Americans who are not give adequate help by the health care system. He touches on cases of people who have none. He compares and contrasts France and Cuba. Now instead of having a substantive discussion, where conservatives say 1) I disagree with Moore BECAUSE.. 2) Moore's point on X is wrong BECAUSE... 3) The facts he presents on health care in Cuba are not true BECAUSE... instead we can engage in these childish stereotypes and name calling INSTEAD of addressing the fact that 46 million people, including children, have no health care in the US. Yeah, let's laugh at the fat man who hates America..it's easier than addressing the issue at hand, some people are literally dying because they got laid off or because their insurance company won't cover them. Thus, the whole premise of the film is so flimsy and ridiculous. To the conservative mind, saying it is bad that millions of hard-working Americans have no health care means you hate America. Objecting to a disastrous military policy in Iraq means you hate America.

And the stereotypes abound from there. Michael Malone is taken through history a la Christmas Carol and shown that it is wrong to hate America...One of my favorite examples is how he is shown by the example of the Civil War that not all war is bad. Now let's dissect this a bit: stereotype: all liberals are against all war no matter what. As stupid as the stereotype that conservatives want war all the time. Fact is, this is not true, many liberals SUPPORTED the war in Afghanistan because the Taliban was housing bin Laden, who was directly associated with the murder of our citizens. But just because you object to the Iraq war, you are against every war in all cases. Yeah, right. The civil war...let's think for a nano-second about that: that war was fought by people opposed to slavery in the Northern States against the conservative South. I won't go into the complex argument here about what each party Republican and others were very different then but I will point of that those "red" states that went Bush in 2004 almost exactly matched the "slave states" during the Civil War. Sure, we are supposed to believe that those very conservative states where they sill want to fly the confederate flag today were the ones who were anti-slavery? Yeah, sure.

And then of course, we have the portrayals of Muslims and Mexicans in the film. To the conservative mindset, all Muslims, be they from Morocco to Iran to Afghanistan to Indonesia, to Sudan, to America and Europe and Turkey are all the same...they all dress the same, all talk the same...all are potential terrorists who hate America.

And everything else is a silly stereotype too. Rosie O'Donnell is a fat lesbian with strong opinions. So therefore, she should be laughed at and ridiculed, not worthy of having an opinion.

And for those who say, "It's a comedy, lighten up"... um, I just found it not funny, from scenes at Ground Zero (real classy) to cheap physical humor (look at that fat pig Moore eat all in sight...) it is light on the humor and heavy on the conservative fantasy

And for those eager to say it is like Airplane, um, no. Airplane was funny because it was completely absurd. There were silly jokes, many groups were parodied in a gentle way. Here it is all about building the strawmen and then trying to build a parody around that. Kind of like making a "liberal" film where George Bush is out on some hunting range, shooting down Muslims for sport....Conservatives would not find that amusing and it would be as absurd as the "Michael Moore hates all of America" premise..

And for those ready to proclaim "typical liberal response", you should know I expect to also pan Oliver Stone's film "W" when it comes out. Although I loathe Bush, it is also a series of silly stereotypes which does not bring the dialogue forward...

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84 out of 140 people found the following review useful:

I thought it was funny

8/10
Author: Kenneth Morgan (greenmonsterprod@hotmail.com) from Piscataway, NJ
6 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, before anyone levels accusations, I have seen the movie and I'm writing this on behalf of myself, not some organization on either side of the political spectrum. Now, that said, here's my opinion...

Is this the funniest movie ever made? No, it's not. Is it your civic duty to see or avoid this movie at all costs? No, it isn't.

I will say, though, that I thought the movie was very funny. In some parts (like the "documentary" about "radical Christian terrorists"), it's both funny and sharply satirical. And, in other parts (like Malone getting constantly knocked around), it's more garden variety slapstick comedy. Either way, I laughed and so did the other people in the audience. And, as noted, there are a couple of scenes that actually try, and do, provoke some thought, mainly the scene at St. Paul's. Finally, when you get right down to it, Malone (the pseudo Michael Moore) doesn't come across as all that awful a guy, even if he is a self-absorbed jerk.

I know that this movie has inspired a considerable amount of controversy and has resulted in heated exchanges. All I'll say, though, is that I thought it was OK and I enjoyed it. And if it does inspire some kind of dialogue about conservatism (or the lack thereof) in Hollywood, so be it.

I will admit, though, it was nice to see a movie that at least tries to show the U.S.A. in a favorable light. That's become somewhat rare.

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88 out of 158 people found the following review useful:

What's next for Zucker? Pro Nixon, Pro McCarthyism movie?

1/10
Author: Slug-3
10 December 2009

I loved Airplane! I think it's a staple on the American comedy scene. In fact, I love several of David Zucker's movies, but he seems to have lost his understanding of the American psyche in his last few attempts. An American Carol, for instance, could just as well have been a pro-Nixon movie, released soon after Watergate. I'm sure there will be a few who will find Zucker's portrayal of Michael Moore funny and they would likely find a Zucker portrayal of Martha Mitchell to be humorous, as well. The irony comes in Zucker's failure to realize that most people side with Michael Moore on his opinions, as well as the facts that support his opinions, which Zucker pokes fun at by treating them as if they were untrue.

As a Liberal, I didn't expect to agree with Zucker's political views, and yet, I felt compelled to watch it and give it a fair shake, believing that my difference in politics might not prevent me from finding it funny. Unfortunately, An American Carol ended up being as disconnected from reality as I'd feared beforehand and I can't help wondering what Hollywood genius figured it would be a good idea to make fun of a controversial American political icon, just as the vast majority of Americans were figuring out that his serious accusations were justified. If Zucker were around for the Boston Tea Party, he most surely would have had a blast ridiculing Samuel Adams, and those throwing tea overboard, and I'm sure he wouldn't have spared American revolutionaries for wanting independence, either, because Zucker seems all about protecting the establishment, no matter who it is and what faults it may have.

I may sound motivated by politics, but that's really not the impetus for my harsh review at all. We've all seen funny political humor that was driven by views that we didn't share, but this is different because Zucker is trying to force humor that just isn't there. Michael Moore offers a plethora of opportunities for humor, but there is nothing funny about portraying people as wrong, when in fact, they were right. And if I am wrong on this, then I have a great idea for a satire about Abraham Lincoln foolishly trying to end slavery, which I'm certain will have it's fans as well.

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113 out of 214 people found the following review useful:

Better Than I'd Expected

7/10
Author: ann-88 from United States
3 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this at the AFR Film Festival in DC this evening. I wasn't expecting much having read a lukewarm online review from someone who saw it when it was screened at the Republican Convention. I was, however, very pleasantly surprised. I doubt this modern day conservative retelling of Dickens' A Christmas Carol will ever find an audience, as it will be ignored/roundly dismissed by the MSM critics, but it is a solidly funny satire and delivered more than its share of laughs (at the expense of Michael Moore, the ACLU, Fidel's Cuba, today's college professors, Rosie O'Donnell, Jimmy Carter, and anyone who frets about the treatment of those incarcerated at Gitmo.) As the "Michael Malone"/Michael Moore character, Kevin Farley not only looks the part but gives a credible and easy-to-watch performance. He actually makes the character likable, even when he's saying or doing something obnoxious. The characterization could have been much "meaner" but Farley walks the fine line between hard edge satire and keeping Malone open to his big screen redemption.

The film even had moments that were unexpectedly moving, especially the segment when Mr. Malone receives some somber "feedback" from the father of his country and when Malone sees "ghosts" in the audience at the end-of-the-film Trace Adkins concert.

Favorite bits: the trailer of Rosie's Radical Christianity documentary and the chorus of college profs singing about the glories of 1968.

If you're an unreconstructed conservative you're going to love this film. Left of center libs (the five or six who actually go to the movie) will walk out of it after about five minutes sputtering obscenities. You'll have to judge whether or not you want to spend your time and money depending upon where you fall between those two extremes.

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32 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

I was looking for an intelligent satire... instead I got "An American Carol"

1/10
Author: filmaker2002 from United States
30 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Because of the controversial subject of this film, I will start off by saying that I am not a liberal. I am a constitutional conservative and also an Iraq War veteran. That being said, "An American Carol is an absolutely horrible film. Besides the type of low-brow, kindergarten humor that it shares with such films as "Scary Movie", "Meet the Spartans", "Date Movie", and every other modern spoof, "An American Carol" also fails in its attempt to rebut left-wing rhetoric.

I read one user review that said "if you're a Republican you will find this funny." Republicans should find this comment very offensive, as it suggests that a film filled with ignorant and inaccurate information would appeal to them. Any educated Republican should avoid this film, because what it implies about them is almost as bad as the filmmakers are trying to say about the left.

The film presents poorly thought out arguments to debunk supposed left-wing myths. An example of this is when the character of Michael Malone comments that President Kennedy would never have gone to Vietnam. In the scene, Kennedy appears before him and suggests that he would have indeed gone to Vietnam, and as evidence the film quotes a line from his Innaugural Address where he mentions that America will "pay any price, bear any burden". The speech itself makes no mention of the on-coming war in Vietnam, and to use this quote as evidence for his position on that war is laughable. Although Kennedy alludes to being willing to fight a necessary war, there is no evidence to suggest that he would have fought the war in question.

Another example is when Bill O'Reilly and Rosie O'Connel are arguing about the terrorist threat. One of the arguments made by Rosie, which is a common argument made by many liberals, is that Christian terrorism is as big a threat as Islamic terrorism. Any student of international and domestic terrorism will tell you that this is simply not true. And a good way to refute that claim is to show the number of terrorist attacks and subsequent death tolls from both Christian extremist and Islamic extremist and compare them. The numbers will clearly show that in the present time Islamic extremists have engaged in far more destructive acts that Christian extremists. However, that is a point that the filmmakers failed to address. Rather than approach the topic intelligently and in a manner that would educate the ignorant, the film dismisses the argument and responds by pointing out the Christian terrorists don't commit their crimes with the same modus operandi that Islamic terrorists do, and the film attempts to make its point in very juvenile fashion.

The film carries on like this for its entire run time. Its extremely disappointing that a film that is supposed to represent the opinions of the right comes across as a Larry the Cable Guy skit. Any one looking for an intelligent argument about right versus left politics should simply avoid this film. I recommend reading "The Revolution" by Ron Paul instead.

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35 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

For not having any publicity still quite remarkable

9/10
Author: jbushy14 from United States
16 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A very remarkable movie that I am very pleased was made. There are so very few conservative films that are made it's refreshing to see something that doesn't paint the United States as the bad guy.

I have read some very bad reviews about this movie because it treats people wrong. One scene from the movie shows Rosie O'Connell/Rosie O'Donnell on Bill O'Reily's show. Her new documentary is about Radical Christianity. In it we see people having to go through immense security to board an airplane because of the Radical Christian bombers. This is a satire about all the people in America who say it is wrong to blame those of Islamic Religion for terrorist attacks. (Not all Muslims)are terrorists but those who are terrorists are Islamic. That is the fact.

This movie brought to light how America now is not the America we used to be. This country was not founded on fear or caution. Those who fought in the Revolutionary War and those in the Continental Congress were fighting against the world superpower. And we won. We shouldn't be painting our country as an evil nation. (As Michael Moore's films say) Overall this film is a must see. It is funny and truly shows us how we look when we do such unpatriotic things. For those who say the Ground Zero scene was inappropriate just remember who made a documentary about what they think really happened on 9/11. GOD BLESS America!!

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Very, very odd...

5/10
Author: Elvine from Sweden
30 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is this supposed to make fun of liberals or republicans? When a few of us sat down to watch it we honestly couldn't agree. We then resorted to what Google had to say on the subject, and apparently the director and the lead actors are all republicans wanting to make a statement. But we still couldn't agree - some of us claimed they had to have been fooled by the writers.

The two biggest laughs from us was when Little Timmy hadn't had his leg fixed because Bad Uncle Michael wouldn't pay for it (yeah, socialized medicine is only for commies, we yanks think every child should have the liberty to stay crippled if they fail to choose the right parents) and when Frasier asked whether the "thou shalt not kill" had been shot away from the wall in the court room and proceeding with "never mind, I'll just fire away" (Who are pro-capital punishment again? That's right, right-wing Christians!)

And those were just the most glaring anti-republican jokes. Mostly, the script was more subtle, with the anti-liberal jokes, the racism and the homophobia so clumsily presented they were, in our opinion, most likely meant to make fun of republican propaganda.

Are we overestimating both the filmmakers and their intended audience? Or have we truly understood the deeper meaning of An American Carol? I'm so confused, I don't know whether to grade it one or ten. I'll have to go with five.

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129 out of 254 people found the following review useful:

It's about time...

8/10
Author: bmennen from New York City
3 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My friend and I LOVED this movie (disclaimer: we are both conservatives). A David Zucker/Airplane like comedy...wrapped up with good old-fashioned patriotism. The late Chris Farley's kid brother was better than expected, the pacing was fast, and there were MANY laugh out loud yucks.

One of my favorite parts involved the ACLU...but I won't ruin it for you. There was spontaneous applause during parts of the movie and at the end.

One slight correction: when the Michael Moore character visits St Paul's Chapel in NYC and is met by General Washington, he stands next to the pew that the Washingtons used during the 15 months President Washington was in NYC. The pew is shown towards the middle of the church, but in actuality is against the north wall.

With that nit picked, let me say God Bless America, David Zucker, Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammar, Dennis Hopper and the rest of the people that worked on this funny yet important movie.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Brainless Parody with Terrible Conclusion

5/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
24 May 2014

On the July 4th, a group of children listens to the story of the documentary filmmaker Michael Malone (Kevin P. Farley) told by their grandfather (Leslie Nielsen) at a family barbecue. Michael wants to abolish the July 4th and does not celebrate the date and refuses to visit his family. Three clumsy Afghan terrorists consider that Michael Malone hates the United States of America and posing of producers, they invite him to make a feature with the intention of helping them to recruit new terrorists. During the night, Michael is visited by JFK that advises that he will be visited by three spirits. Soon General Patton, George Washington and the Angel of Death visit him trying to show him what would happen to the United States if pacifism prevails over war.

"An American Carol" is a parody of "A Christmas Carol" where a Michael Malone is a parody of Michael Moore in the role of the Scrooge. There are funny, but also moronic gags and after a promising beginning, the plot concludes with a terrible boastful nationalism that spoils the plot and the character. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Corra que Tem Loucos por Aí!" ("Run Since There Are Madmen Around")

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17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

a good spoof since...

8/10
Author: dsdsmith91 from United States
18 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

when i saw the trailer i knew i had to see this, on the other hand when i saw the disaster movie trailer i thought "fail". it stars Kevin Farley, the brother of Chris Farley (the buss driver from billy Madison), Kelsey grammar (sideshow bob), Leslie Nielson (Dracula from Dracula and loving it) and trace adkins. its basically the Christmas carol + Michael Moore, i cant think of any other spoof that came out this year that was good (i didn't see superhero movie and get smart is just and adaption). i mean think about one good joke from disaster movie and meet the Spartans, cant think of any thing? good. PS. JFK sounded like mayor quimby from the Simpson's.

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