American Dreamz
Review by Ross Anthony

Having absolutely loved "About a Boy" and "In Good Company" (and even "American Pie"), I eagerly anticipated "American Dreamz." Perhaps because Hugh Grant stars, I was hoping that it would have the kind of cinematic impact and heart of "About a Boy." It doesn't. But it's still a fun movie.

Rather ambitious in its breadth, the film feels a tad unwieldy: from terrorist training camps to the office of the President to Jane Anybody in Middle America to the stage of American Idol (oops, I mean American Dreamz).

The world is surely ready for satire of American Idol, but will America be ready for a friendly satire of terrorists? All give good performances. Especially noteworthy, Dennis Quad's tongue in cheek portrayal of a recent US president. William Dafoe as his trusted advisor. Mandy Moore really shows off some acting prowess here, succeeding at a trickier kind of humor. Grant is solid as well, but the film still lacks a certain something. The presidential plot looked promising in the heart department, but the filmmakers stay committed to poke-funnery instead.

With such acting talent and some of the creators of much better films, you may be expecting more than a good farce. However, the farce is pretty much what you're getting here, a few interesting comments on politics and pop culture, and some good silly fun. A little slow to find the funny bone, but it eventually gets there. It's a solid B movie with just a tad more. I'm giving it a B+ with the recommendation as a rental -- it'll play better on TV.

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  • American Dreamz. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Marcia Gay Harden, Willem Dafoe, Chris Klein, Sam Golzari, Jennifer Coolidge.
  • Directed by Paul Weitz.
  • Screenplay by Paul Weitz.
  • Produced by Rodney M. Liber, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz at Universal Pictures/Unviersal/Depth of Field.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:21:18 PDT