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Film: An American Carol

Politically charged 2008 comedy from David Zucker (of Airplane!, Top Secret!, etc.) about the conspicuously-named Michael Malone (Kevin Farley), a bitter documentary filmmaker who is disgusted with the United States of America and decides to start up a campaign to ban the Fourth of July holiday. The night before the big anti-July 4th rally, President John F. Kennedy returns from the dead to tell the filmmaker that he will be visited by three patriotic spirits who will attempt to get him to see the error of his ways.

Draws a great deal from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, obviously.


Tropes:

  • Action Survivor: Michael. One minute, he's eating a hoagie. The next, he's fighting off zombies with a shotgun.
  • An Aesop
  • Author Avatar: Michael is "sort of" this to David Zucker. After 9/11, Zucker began rethinking his leftist political beliefs and ultimately became a conservative. In the movie, Michael taking time to contemplate 9/11 serves as the turning point that switches his political beliefs too. It's arguable that the character's main purpose isn't to mock Moore (although that is clearly high up on the agenda), but for Zucker to laugh at himself for how he used to be.
  • Berserk Button: Michael, who generally hates guns, fires some buckshot into an approaching wave of zombie lawyers after he thinks he overhears one of them calling him "fat."
  • Big Bad: Aziz
  • Billing Displacement
  • Black Comedy:
    • Everything from where we first meet the terrorists to where the focus shifts to Michael.
      Mohammed: It is getting harder and harder to find good suicide bombers...and all the really good ones are gone.
      • It arguably peaks with the suicide bomber training video.
    • The alternate future where Michael's arse is his only body part that authorities were able to salvage from the explosion.
  • Butt Monkey: Michael and Mohammed. Michael Malone can also be included, because he is slapped a number of times, and even stomped on one or two times.
  • The Cameo: Bill O'Reilly, Gary Coleman, the list goes on.
  • Children Are Innocent: Very much subverted with Tiny Tim, of all people.
    • The girl scouts also take time out to tear Michael a new one.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Aziz is initially made out to be something of a Villain Protagonist. Once the focus shifts to Michael, he drops the protagonist part.
  • Fat Idiot: Michael
  • Flanderization: Some people would say Malone himself, compared with his inspiration. This could also be applied to JFK and George Washington.
  • Freudian Excuse: Michael
  • Happy Ending: Whether-or-not you agree with Michael's political shift, the movie goes out on a high note. He's reconnected with his family and has become a successful director, finally ridding himself of his Butt Monkey status.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Michael (hey, based on Scrooge, shouldn't be surprised), at least from the political perspective of the director. Also Ahmed and Mohammed. It should be pointed out that Michael is not "evil"; he's just misguided and blinded by self-importance. The movie makes very clear that, whatever his other faults, he does not approve of honor killings, his feelings of (token) sympathy for Muslims notwithstanding.
  • Hot for Student: Parodied in the college professor scene.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Ahmed and Mohammed deactivate a bomb in a mens room stall. While someone is using an adjacent urinal, they hear Ahmed and Mohammed congratulate each other on what a good job the other did.
  • Jerk Ass: Michael Malone.
  • Large Ham: Michael Malone.
  • Lovable Coward: Ahmed and Mohammed.
  • Market-Based Title: Released outside the US (but mostly not in cinemas) as Big Fat Important Movie. (The end credits still carry the original title, however.)
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Ahmed and Mohammed.
  • Mood Whiplash: The film briefly contemplates 9/11 and, appropriately, drops all the levity until the next scene.
  • The Narrator: Leslie Nielsen.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Aziz takes this trope Up to Eleven. Seriously, this is very-possibly the most exreme use of this trope mankind will ever witness. His disguise consists of a fake beard that is identical to the real beard it is covering it up. Nobody recognizes him. People gasp in surprise when he takes it off and they realize who he really is.
  • Patriotic Fervor
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: Remember, this is David Zucker we're talking about.
  • Rule of Funny: Women in the past, slapping Michael, despite being completely unaware of his presence.
  • Running Gag: Whenever somebody asks if Michael is filmmaker, they will inevitably be corrected that he's just a documentary maker and will no longer be impressed.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Mohammed
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ahmed and Mohammed.
  • Strawman Political: Excessively so.
  • Take That: Guess.
  • Those Two Guys: Ahmed and Mohammed
  • Time-Shifted Actor
  • The Undead
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend
  • Unreliable Narrator: Not so much an unreliable narrator as an easily-distracted narrator marching slowly toward senility.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Michael.

The Alphabet KillerFilms of 2005 - 2009 Amusement

alternative title(s): An American Carol
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