Movie Title: God Bless America
Date Released: March 9th, 2012 (South by Southwest Film Festival)
Date Seen: March 27th, 2013
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
A dark comedy some will enjoy and some will absolutely hate. Full of political messages, social commentary, and rampant violence, there’s a lot that can be said about this movie. The movie follows Frank (Joel Murray) who has just lost his job and found out he has a terminal brain tumor. He goes on a spree killing everyone that is “mean”. Along the way, Roxy (Tara Lynee Barr), a 16 year old high school girl with issues of her own, joins Frank on his adventure.
I think there are two ways to go about watching this movie – for the pure enjoyment factor in that the movie looks funny, or for the social/political commentary fact. I went about it because I thought it looked liked it’d be a hysterical satire of the US with some guns and shooting involved. Because of that – I took the movie at pure face value entertainment and I enjoyed it. If you go looking at it from the social and political point of view, the entire way though, you’re not going to find it as funny. In fact, you might not find it funny at all, especially if some of the politics/commentaries mirror your own views. Look at the director – Bobcat Goldthwait. He’s a comedian – who has directed episodes of “The Man Show”, “Chappelle’s Show”, and over 250 episodes of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”. In my opinion, you’re not meant to take this movie *too* seriously. Just like stuff they say/do on those shows. It’s just one person expressing their views in a comedic way. Yeah, some people might not find the movie funny, but I did. So, I liked the movie. There are tons of people if you just go to the imdb.com forums who don’t find it that funny or just didn’t like the movie or even over-analyzed details. It’s a very dark satire, people. Let it be.
There is a fair amount of gun violence in this movie and a couple of times the blood is SUPER over exaggerated. My sister and I, both being messed up human beings laughed our asses off at these parts. Especially because a couple of the scenes you weren’t expecting to happen (ie who they shot in the room) so it made it even more funny, again, to our demented little minds. I thought the acting was great, especially by Tara Lynne Barr, who plays Roxy. She’s slightly annoying herself at times and you just want her to shut up – and because of that, I think she played the part of the 16 year old quite well…. probably because she was only 17/18 herself when the movie was filmed. The plot was very straight forward and slightly predictable but with more than enough hilarious scenes to keep you going.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
Again, realizing that I didn’t try (or really want to) over analyze this film. I took it for what it was at face value. Yes, sue me for not looking deeper into the movie! I just don’t care to because I enjoyed it enough without doing so.
What was slightly pathetic is that nearly every show they made fun of or commented on, I’ve seen and/or like. I mean, a couple were obvious, such as the main two parodies being clearly of American Idol and My Super Sweet 16. Another one they clearly parody that I recognized was the “Bad Girls Club” and various political talk shows and morning shows.
Some people comment that this movie had no character development and no real clear direction. Or that halfway through the movie it started to get messy. I agree that there was no character development, but I also don’t think it was necessary. On a related note, I disagree that there was no direction or that the movie started to get messy and not thought out. Go back again to our director and writer, Bobcat Goldthwait. Remember those shows he directed? Remember what his previous job was (stand-up comedian). He made the movie with a clear intention – an extended, dark satire of the American society. Yes, there wasn’t any character development – but there didn’t need to be to get his point across.