Yes, there have been a thousand parodies of “A Christmas Carol,” but one I had never heard of was a movie that came out last fall for about a nanosecond, the gentle satire “An American Carol.” From the director of lampoons such as “Naked Gun: The Final Insult” this movie humorously , though not always brilliantly, blends Hollywood, politiics , terrorists, and a certain brand of patriotism, which makes it my must-see DVD pick of the week.
“An American Carol” is also my vote for one of the most overlooked movies of the year. I believe there aren’t enough movies that parody Michael Moore as a film director/ Scrooge who realizes the error of his point of view and saves the world from terrorists while attending a Trace Adkins concert. (If that last sentence didn’t make you grin just a smidge, then you should just rent “When Harry Met Sally” for New Year’s instead.)
“An American Carol” opens at a Fourth of July picnic where a grandpa (Leslie Nielsen) is telling his grandkids the story of Michael Malone (Kevin Farley), a sarcastic and overweight documentary filmmaker who has lost his American spirit. As Malone sits in fromt of his TV, Malone is visited by former president JFK and told he will be also be visited by three spirits that include General George Patton (Kelsey Grammar), George Washington (Jon Voight), and the Angel of Death (Trace Adkins). The spirits show Malone what the world would be like if America never fought in a war, and how Malone personally caused America to lose the war on terror. What’s worse, Malone’s nephew is going off to fight in the Persian Gulf, and Malone must reconcile with him before the young man ships out.
The only flaws of the movie are that it tries too hard to be earnest at times and it also tries too hard to be a satire. Another actor also could have done a more spot-on impression of Moore. Still, all that’s a small price to pay for the many laughs, not to mention Broadway-style musical numbers, that “Carol” provides. In fact , I may have to watch this movie over and over again on inauguration evening.
Watch the original trailer below: