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"American Dreamz" Is Not Serious
April 24, 2006

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

The recently released flick "American Dreamz" is essentially an overly long "Saturday Night Live"-style skit and is not meant to be taken seriously, not even as a satire.

It implicitly pokes fun at President Bush characterizing him as inept but ends up portraying him as a decent, lovable and ultimately courageous character.

The subplot that steals the audience's attention involves Arab terrorists who also happen to be fans of an "American Idol"-type show.

A gay Arab-American who strives to be a contestant on the program has a cousin who comes to live with him and his family.

Unbeknownst to the relatives is the fact that the guy, although sweet natured, is actually a member of a terrorist sleeper cell. Ironically, he has a secret fondness for show tunes and accidentally ends up being one of the finalists on the show.

Prior to the movie's release, some conservatives were expressing concern over the possible content. But now that the movie is out, liberal critics are the ones who are panning the film.

Why? It apparently doesn't hit the cinematic representation of the current administration hard enough to suit libs' vengeful appetite.

Here are a few disappointed examples:

  • The title of one recent Boston Herald review read "‘American Dreamz' stings where it should bruise."

  • The Seattle Post-Intelligencer regrettably told its readers that "a stinging satire would be so much more satisfying."

  • The Boston Globe sniffled that "American Dreamz" was "far too good-natured to do any lasting damage."

  • New York Magazine boohooed that the film's "shallow cynicism combined with its faith that everything will turn out OK can even be said to breed complacency - the opposite of what satire needs to do in these increasingly dark days."

In a related story, "American Dreamz" writer and director Paul Weitz apparently doesn't want to be associated with the filmmaker who offends most conservatives.

"You're using the vocabulary of broad comedy to talk about what's most important," Weitz told UPI. "And I don't have a Michael Moore-like urge to offend people or get people angry at me. If anything, that idea stresses me out."

The director of the "American Pie" series has indicated that he would consider screening his most recent film for President Bush.

When Weitz was asked whether he would show "American Dreamz" at the White House, he said he'd accept an invitation. However, he'd also make sure to know where the nearest exit was "just in case."

Based on its debut at No. 8 in the box office tally, Weitz would be wise to accept any screening invitation he can get.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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