Dave's Rating:


...satire souffle falls.

Who’s In It: Kelsey Grammer, Kevin Farley, Trace Adkins, Jon Voight, Leslie Nielsen, Dennis Hopper

The Basics: An anti-American (aka: liberal) documentary filmmaker (aka: Michael Moore) hates the Fourth of July so much that he spearheads a movement to ban it. (aka: Huh?) So then the ghost of something-or-other past (aka: Hollywood Republican Kelsey Grammer, slumming so much you almost feel sorry for him) whisks him off to various inspiring locations (a Trace Adkins concert, Ground Zero, etc.) and teaches him the true spirit of patriotism. All of this is framed within the context of a forgetful old Leslie Nielsen telling a picnic table’s worth of child actors a cheery Independence Day holiday tale. (“C’mon Grandpa! Get to the part about Cuban health care!”)

What’s The Deal: Loony conservatives are funny. Loony liberals are funny. Political humor is a mainstay in this country’s conversation about issues that affect us all. But the minute you get preachy is the minute your little satire soufflé falls. Meanwhile, the best satire always comes from a position of lesser power, mocking the Emperor’s nudity. So when the people who’ve spent the last eight years with all the political muscle start skewering the other side it feels less like comedy and more like having your face rubbed in someone else's mess.

The One Funny Thing: Believe it or not, Bill O’ Reilly’s cameo where he rips up a Rosie O’Donnell impersonator feels comparatively loose and fresh. But then again, this bit is bookended by the appropriation and historical misuse of John F. Kennedy as a neo-conservative icon and a truly awful appearance by humorless country-singing Franken-hick Trace Adkins.

The One Despicable Thing: After being led to the rubble of 9/11, the Michael Moore-alike is informed that that whole thing was the liberals’ fault. Seriously.

The One Moment In Which I Felt Personally Offended: The Michael Moore character hates country music and the movie seems to, as well, since it’s the only conservative cultural phenomenon that gets goofed on even a little bit. As an avowed lefty country fan, I can deal with making fun of Rosie but don’t insult George & Tammy or we’re gonna fight.


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