For me, one of the most appalling episodes in Hollywood Elsewhere history happened a month ago (on 4.10) when I ran a qualified rave of Bobcat Goldwaith‘s God Bless America.
I called it “a very moral film” with which Goldthwait “is really saying something about the increasing levels of rampant egotism among the mall mongrels and people failing to behave in a considerate, compassionate fashion, and that things would be much nicer all around if people showed more class and manners,” etc.
The appalling part came when some readers said my review was lacking in irony and/or self-awareness, meaning that I, in their opinion, would be a target of Goldwaith’s Frank character (played by Joel Murray) if I happened to exist in the world of the film.
Sure thing. I didn’t feel all that comfortable with the metaphorical wanton slaughtering that occupies the second half of the film (which didn’t seem to build or lead anywhere) but one of the observational veins in this column for the last seven years has been about the coarse, loudmouthy, movie-theatre-texting uglies out there. Frank’s views, in short, are where this column lives to a certain degree so I’m afraid I need a little help in understanding the irony aspect.
What happened, I believe, is that the right knows or senses that God Bless America is about them and their family so they came out guns blazing. As I noted last moth, “Most of the targets in this movie are Middle-American mall people and anti-Obama, anti-gay righties and Tea Party slime, but Frank also hates showbiz lefties in certain ways.”
Various egotists and me-me-me vulgarians eat lead in this film. The only types missing from the hit list, I realized later on, are those wonderful people who lean their seat back 45 degrees in coach on commercial flights.