8 out of 10
Façade of The Far-Fetched
Sally’s dream was simple: to be a star. Anyone can be on T.V., she says, but it takes someone special to be a real star. Written and Directed by Paul Weitz ("About a Boy", "American Pie"), American Dreamz is a story about a small town girl named Sally Kendoo (Mandy Moore) who has been singing since the age of six months.
Sally gets chosen to be a contestant of American Dreamz, a reality T.V. show that is a spoof on the real life show American Idol. In the end, she must battle it out with Omer (Sam Golzari), a terrorist in disguise who has been sent to Orange County from the Middle East. Hugh Grant plays the character of Martin Tweed, the show’s host. His fame and fortune have made him loveable despite his quirky sense of humour – a spoof on Idol’s judge Simon Cowell.The American President, President Staton (Dennis Quaid) has recently started to realize this problem and wants to do something about it. The only thing is that Vice President Sutter (Willem Dafoe) won’t let him. Sutter doesn’t seem to think that there is a problem. He is more concerned with the president’s appearance and reputation and spends his time coming up with ways the president can re-emerge himself into society...
The cast of American Dreamz was well selected. I noticed that numerous characters which appeared in this movie have also appeared in some of Paul Weitz’s past films (about half the cast of American Pie was present) but in the end that didn’t change my view of the film. The storyline to American Dreamz is really well played out. At first glance, it appears to be a pointless banter on society’s ways, but after viewing it, I realized it was more of a playful comment on the mindlessness that society has developed. Ridiculous events that happen in the film are glazed over by all the characters, which have become so caught up in the whirlwind of reality T.V. and fame.
There are two ways that you can take the message of American Dreamz. The first way is to perceive all the events which happen as so “far fetched” that it makes the movie stupid. The second way is to perceive all the events as so “far fetched” that it makes the movie amazing, because it is such a controversial commentary, a sort of façade, into what we as a society have turned. I chose to go with the second way.
Film Critic: Amanda Dupuis