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God Bless America

by

Jeff Nelson

God Bless America is an uproarious picture that is ultimately successful in creating a satire of modern American pop culture.

God Bless America
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The pop culture with the technology, reality TV shows, and other distractions has most definitely changed society. They have changed the behavior of many children and adults. Writer/Director Bobcat Goldthwait has created God Bless America, which holds a mirror up to us about the society we live in. Along with many other people, I find reality television to be garbage and get very irritated by a lot of what's considered popular nowadays. A lot of children and teenagers look up to train wrecks such as Kim Kardashian and members on the Jersey Shore. How has it not been addressed more often about how wrong it is to look up to and praise such talentless hacks? Well, God Bless America is the movie for you if you have a similar way of thinking. It's a satire of modern America as it points out many of its flaws in a bloody fashion.

Disgusted with American society and diagnosed with a brain tumor, Frank teams up with teenager Roxy. The two begin killing reality TV stars, bigots, and others they find repugnant. This dark comedy displays how passionate writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait is about expressing his anger about society. While not everybody will be glad about Frank's choice of actions due to so many actual shootings taking place in real life, Goldthwait is successful in getting the audience to reflect on American society and ask themselves if we're really as civilized as we think. A lot of effort was clearly put into the screenplay. This movie has underlining themes that are more complex than they appear to be. The best portions of the movie are when Frank or Roxy have their monologues. They discuss what they find to be so wrong about American society. Not only are they humorous, but they really make you think. The writer has developed a well-paced script. From the opening moments, there are already some laughs. It doesn't let up until the credits are rolling, even though there are momentary breaks from the laughter, which are filled with character development. I was rolling my eyes when the film appeared to be going in the direction of a romantic relationship between Frank and Roxy. Fortunately, the movie never goes down that road. Instead, Roxy looks up to Frank and they develop a father/daughter-type relationship. By the end of the movie, it actually feels rather genuine. As the duo discuss what disgust them about society, such as people who give high-fives, misuse words such as 'actually,' and amateur singers seen on a knock-off version of American Idol., viewers won't be able to help but simply laugh along with the conversation. While the screenplay doesn't scream perfection, it still accomplishes what it set out to do and delivers a hell of a lot of laughs along the way.

If you're searching for big stars in God Bless America, you won't find them. However, that doesn't make a difference. Joel Murray performs as Frank. Those who have seen Hatchet should recognize him instantly. The rest of those watching this film will most likely not know who he is. This is one of those cases where he does a great job being a normal person. Usually, the only acting that gets a lot of recognition is when they're playing a character who has an illness such as schizophrenia. Murray nails the role of a normal man who simply snaps after dealing with society and then being told that he's going to die from a brain tumor. Tara Lynne Barr plays Roxy. She does a good job at playing the mature, yet a bit naive teenager. Both actors express themselves rather well as they develop a relationship between the characters and the audience with these performances. The acting is better than I was expecting it to be.

God Bless America holds a mirror up to the issues of America's pop culture. The screenplay does an excellent job with the humor. It's clear that the writer is passionate about the problems addressed. The dark comedy in this movie is absolutely hilarious. This is a highly entertaining feature from start to finish. There will be moments where Frank and Roxy will shoot people in situations where you found yourselves upset by and find it to be very funny. Mine is a scene where rude people continue to make noise and talk on their cell phones during a movie. The acting is surprisingly spot on as both actors present Frank and Roxy very well. God Bless America has taken a very gutsy topic and instead of beating around the bush, goes in at full speed and doesn't worry about breaking barriers. There are some scenes that are sure to be controversial, but this is a hilarious movie. God Bless America is an uproarious picture that is ultimately successful in creating a satire of modern American pop culture.

My Rating = Four Stars

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