Even some Republicans were skeptical about the box office
potential of David Zucker’s conservative satire, “An American Carol,” in which,
as I’ve mentioned before, a Scrooge-like Michael Moore-ish filmmaker is taken
through a tour of American History by George Washington and other patriotic
spooks. But maybe the success this Spring of Nathan Frankowski's anti-evolution
documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” changed some minds, because
Vivendi plans to release the film on October 3 on 2,000 screens. On the other
hand, last weekend another right wing documentary, Nathan Frankowski’s “Proud
American,” took in the lowest per screen average ($180 on 750 screens) of any
film in Hollywood history. Perhaps not coincidentally that was the same weekend that
Lehman Brothers folded and caused the Dow to have its biggest decline since
Nonetheless, the jolt of energy that the Sarah Palin nomination
has injected into the right wing has convinced the “Carol” people that this is
the perfect time for releasing the movie. Plus, according to producer Steve McEveety
(he was also behind “The Passion of the Christ” ) the film is a comedy in the
mold of previous, non-political Zucker farces as “Airplane!” “Sure, it takes a
position, but it's fun,” McEveety told the “Hollywood Reporter.” “Can’t we have
a little fun during this election?”
I guess it depends on whether or not your idea of fun is Dennis
Hopper as a judge gunning down ACLU lawyers trying to take down the Ten
Commandments from his courthouse. Or whether this trailer leaves you rocking
with laughter. What do I know? Lots of people seem to think this is as much fun
as a barrel of monkeys.
Speaking of Palin, the people promoting “Carol” are
taking a hint from those marketing the VP nominee by keeping the film away from
the press. There will be no preview screenings of “An American Carol” before its opening.
However, the press is invited to interview Zucker and other members of the cast
and crew beforehand. Without seeing the film, that is.
This is a first in my experience. Say what you will about
Michael Moore, but at least he has enough backbone to let you see his movie
before you interview him about it.