This week marks the opening of two highly charged movie comedies. The first, “Religulous,” is a Borat-style journey starring Bill Maher that is designed to demonstrate that anyone who believes in God is a total moron. The second, “An American Carol,” is a slapstick satire that pokes fun at the far left. Director David Zucker, who did the “Airplane” movies, mocks Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, and other liberal enthusiasts. Full disclosure: I have a small part in “Carol.”
Now, it will be interesting to see how the critics react to these films. Most people who review movies for a living are liberal thinkers. Are they godless? I have no idea. Are they ready to embrace Bill Maher’s point of view? I believe they are.
Already, the New York Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter have labeled Maher’s fable “hilarious” while conceding that many religious folks may not share that point of view. It is obvious the Deity likes a good laugh, or else Congress would not have been created. But whether the Almighty will be chuckling over “Religulous” is, well, highly doubtful. Bill Maher might pray for a long life.
What is not doubtful is that most critics will hate “An American Carol.” Far-left internet sites like Salon are hammering Zucker and his movie even though they haven’t seen it. That’s because the producers of “Carol” suspected they would be treated very poorly by the press and avoided all advance screenings. Why do they believe this? Well, it might be because not one American media company would distribute the film, even though it features big name stars like Kelsey Grammar and James Woods. “Carol” is being distributed by a French company whose executives may not be all that fluent in English.
No question that both movies are going to anger some folks. Maher in particular is a provocateur. Promoting his film on “The View,” he told one of the ladies who is a believer that she should go to a mental hospital. Borat would be proud.
On the “Carol” front, more than a few people will be horrified that movie icon George Clooney is mocked. Talk about roping a sacred cow! Belittling God is one thing, but denigrating Clooney? Are there no limits to the madness?
It will be very interesting to see which movie wins at the box office. Will the pagans score big? Or will the first conservative satire ever clobber the atheists? At this point, only God knows, with apologies to Mr. Maher.
And if this culture war cinema battle isn’t enough, Oliver Stone will be out with his movie on President Bush in a couple of weeks. I’ll make a bold prediction: Many critics will love it! Can you imagine anyone sticking up for Mr. Bush at this point in time?
I don’t know whether Oliver Stone believes in God. But he should.