Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Usually when a movie isn't shown to critics prior to its release, it's because there is an expectation that it will receive bad reviews. Such was the case with An American Carol. What's different about the movie not being screened for critics is that it wasn't because its a bad movie but because it was believed that movie reviewers' would find the movie politically unpalatable. Many of the reviews that have come out about the movie have shown those fears to be grounded in reality. Can we really expect an unbiased review that begins with:
This is my review of An American Carol.
I went into the movie hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Hollywood has turned out a lot of really bad parodies in recent years and adding political commentary didn't seem like a formula for success. Though I've liked David Zucker's past work on films such as Airplane! and the Naked Gun series, the trailer for An American Carol seems kind of lame.
On the other hand, I was hoping the movie would be as funny as Zucker's past work so that it would do well at the box office and Hollywood might see value in doing more movies with a conservative bent.
That said, I think the movie landed somewhere halfway between my hopes and fears. It's got some very funny bits, such as Rosie O'Connell's film showing that radical Christians are just as bad as radical Islamists, but some other bits fall flat such as a joke about everyone in a terrorist group being named Mohammed Hussein.
Like most of Zucker's work, the movie is cheesy, cornball, and over-the-top. That's not a bad thing in this kind of movie but if you don't like that kind of humor, this movie probably isn't for you.
As far as I can tell, most conservatives seem to really like this movie and most liberals seem to really hate it. So where you fall on the political spectrum should probably be taken into consideration if you're thinking of going to see it. In my case, I found the movie to be very enjoyable. I certainly had more fun at it than I did at Tropic Thunder earlier this year. Judging by the laughter I was hearing from my fellow movie goers, I wasn't the only one.
If you do go see An American Carol make sure the theater box office gives you tickets to the right movie. There have been reports about some theaters trying to sabotage the box office by selling tickets to other movies. It doesn't effect your ability to see the movie but it does effect the reported box office and thus the perception of whether the movie is a success or failure.