Sunday, April 8, 2012



Bobcat Goldthwait's new black comedy is surely going to ruffle a few feathers and be wildly misunderstood by many others. If it had gone out wider upon the initial release I would have expected a pretty extreme backlash from the right wing media whom takes a pretty savage beating in the film. Though they are hardly the only targets the movie levels the gun sights on. GOD BLESS AMERICA is a hot lead enema to a society that has lost focus on what is fundamentally decent and kind; a violent black comedy of horror about what happens to a society that has lost the needle on the compass of compassion. .

Joel Murray
(yes the brother of Bill) stars as Frank, a man who has had a really shitty couple of days. He already suffers from critical insomnia and asshole neighbors who seem to thrive on being pricks. They are so bad he fantasizes about shotgunning their forever crying infant just to shut them up. He loses his job because he, in a kind gesture, sent flowers to the receptionist because she was having a bad day. She reported him for sexual harassment. His daughter refuses to see him because she is growing up to be just like the awful teen idols she watches on TV, and worst of all he just found out he has fatal brain tumor.

While watching a particularly disgusting evening of slop TV, including an AMERICAN IDOL riff where a clearly mentally handicapped kid becomes a national sensation because his singing is so awful that America embraces him just to laugh. Frank stops himself from committing suicide because he fixates on teen sensation Cloe and just how disgustingly awful of a human being she is. And decides she needs to die. He sets out to do just that, kill this teen bitch queen.

When he actually DOES this, he picks up a new friend in rebellious teenager Roxy (Tara Lynn Barr) who is not only thrilled to have witnessed the crime, but helps set him straight on trying to kill himself again. She then helps him see the light that there are a lot of other people out there just like Cloe that need to be put down for the betterment of mankind. Together they set out on the road to start rubbing out those who are not fit to be in the public eye. Those without the kindness to be around strangers or those close to them.

The film is preachy at times, but I must say I didn't mind because the things Bobcat is preaching are frankly, things I have found myself preaching more than once. The fact that as a society we have lost the ability to be kind, to be non-judgmental, to have actual conversations with out pop-culture or slogans plastered on us like armor. To praise people for lying, cheating and stealing, for making those with no talent absolute heroes.

There are at least three times the movie stops for Frank to go on speeches that are clearly Bobcat's voice where he rants on things like the over-sexualazation of teenage girls (“Fuck R.Kelly and Fuck Woody Allen for the follow your heart to love whoever you want no matter what age bullshit”) or how the media has become the new coliseums of the modern time where we bring in the weak and feeble just to laugh and mock them. He gives the pop culture attacks to Roxy where she goes after music, TV, and movies stars such as a pretty direct assault on the ridiculous and painful writing of DIABLO CODY and how horrific and pandering JUNO was to teenage girls.

Granted for a movie that is taking aim at how our culture has lost sight on being kind, the fact that the two main characters are endlessly killing people could be considered something of missing the point or a misnomer. But that really is just the black comedy of the situation. They are just as much a part of the problem as the people they are killing. Backed into the corner with no way out, no way to force people to listen in a culture that doesn't respond to anything else but violence, violence, violence. .

The first great film of the year. The scene of them killing the teenagers in the movie theater who wont shut up needs to be shown in front of every movie in the United States to get people to put away their cell phones and shut up before every movie.

See this at all costs. Then go be kind to someone.

Review © Andrew Copp

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