"American" way

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 9/11.

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.


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