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American Dreamz

Movies | In lampooning President Bush and American Idol, this film exposes Hollywood's strange political pathologies.

Issue: "A few good men," May 6, 2006

American Dreamz (PG-13) lampoons President Bush and American Idol. Those are arguably fair game. But it goes on to lampoon American servicemen in Iraq and show the humorous side of terrorism. In doing so, the film exposes Hollywood's strange political pathologies.

Dennis Quaid plays a president with a Texas accent. His father was also president. His wife is a parody of Laura Bush. He is inarticulate, clueless, and very, very stupid. As part of that stupidity, he is religious, with the movie ridiculing how he thinks the Lord put him into office and how the first thing he would rescue if the North Koreans attack is his Bible.

The movie presents him as sort of good-hearted, but he is so infantile that he is under the control of his wife and his Dick-Cheney-looking chief of staff (Willem Dafoe). After the president's reelection, he resolves to actually read so that he can understand the issues he is facing. He tries to read The New York Times and the Canadian press, but the chief of staff puts a stop to that.

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Here we see two hobbyhorses that liberals keep riding, in the face of all evidence: President Bush is stupid, and The New York Times is an unbiased source of objective information.

In the movie, the Dick Cheney figure fixes the president up with an ear-piece transmitter. That way, the chief of staff can feed the president his lines. In real life, many liberals believed this actually happened. That was the only way they could explain how this clearly stupid president beat the clearly intelligent Al Gore in a debate.

Many liberals actually assume the president must be under the control of an evil puppetmaster behind the scenes, identified as Mr. Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and/or Karl Rove. In the movie, the handler has the idea of improving the president's tanking poll numbers by arranging for him to be the guest judge on the season finale of "American Dreamz," a take-off on American Idol.

This is the second thread of the story, with Hugh Grant playing the cynical Simon-like producer, and Mandy Moore playing an equally cynical so-called "white trash" contestant. (Notice the left's condescension and class contempt when it comes to ordinary Americans.)

The contestant is so ambitious that, thinking she can do better, she dumps her longtime boyfriend. Since his life no longer has any meaning, he says, he decides to enlist in the army to fight for his country. (This is the left's contemptuous explanation for why people enlist in the all-volunteer military: They are desperate, lower-class losers, for whom military service is the only way out.)

The heartbroken young man is immediately sent to Iraq, where he gets wounded. Coming back to America, the cynical contestant, urged on by the cynical producers, makes up with him in front of the cameras so that she can score sympathy votes from the show's viewers.

The third strain of the story has to do with a lovable terrorist played by Sam Golzari. He enlists in the Afghanistan training camps because American bombers killed his mother. But what he really loves is show tunes. He goes to America to be part of a sleeper cell, living with wealthy relatives in Orange County. One of his cousins is an Arab valley girl, and the other is a Muslim homosexual. Through a strange turn of events, the lovable terrorist, the cynical contestant, and the silly president converge, a set-up only the Hollywood executives who heard the pitch for American Dreamz could think is hilarious.

Gene Edward Veith
Gene Edward Veith

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