David Zucker Commits Hollywood Treason
In late July, Politico's Jeffrey Ressner wrote an article detailing the plot of An American Carol. Within just a few days, Devin Faraci of the highly trafficked filmsite CHUD.com -- a site plugged into the industry well enough to get email scoops directly from A-list directors like Paul Greengrass -- responded with a post (I've redacted slightly) headlined: "SURELY THE DIRECTOR OF AIRPLANE! HAS LOST HIS G**DAMNED MIND." He then wrote in his profanity-laden piece, "Now that the storyline of the movie has come out, I fear he's gone bats**t insane."
Inspired by his ideological counterpart, that very same day (and just two days after suggesting Jon Voight be blacklisted for writing an op-ed opposing Obama), former Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and People magazine writer, Jeffrey Wells, posted a vicious third-hand account of An American Carol on his influential blog:
This evening a reliable source passed along this verbatim quote from a friend who's seen An American Carol: "This thing goes beyond heavy handed. It reminds one of the sensation of watching Burn, Holllywood [sic] Burn. It tries to be outrageous but just comes off as a paean from a Republican who wants to continue getting tax breaks. I rank it right out there with Skidoo and Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness as far as the WTF nature of it all. The laugh quotient is right up there with The Love Guru and confirms that David Zucker was always the Fredo of the ZAZ comedy mafia.
Ignoring the archaic film references these types trade to impress each other, in just a few short sentences An American Carol is compared to one of the worst films ever made and the filmmaker's own thirty-year career is labeled a fraud. Most interesting is the lack of any specific plot points or examples of what exactly goes "beyond heavy handed." And as someone who's actually seen the film, I can tell you that An American Carol has less to do with "tax breaks" than Jurassic Park. You can come to your own conclusions.
Not to be outdone, just a few days later, longtime Los Angeles Times' columnist Patrick Goldstein picked up the flag, called Zucker a "flame-throwing Dick Cheney conservative," and then asked with no observable tongue in cheek: "Can conservatives truly be funny? ... Does Zucker still have a funny bone?"
Ironically, Zucker could have made a fifth Scary Movie installment without anyone raising a single question about his sanity, character, career choices, or "funny bone." But a bold, thoroughly original, risky, shot across the establishment's bow? And here I thought liberals admired iconoclasts.
Keep in mind that just as it was with The Passion, the movie's not the point. An American Carol is a fait accompli; it will hit 2,000 screens on October 3. This round of passioning is about what it's always about: punishing Zucker and scaring off anyone considering a similar treason.