American Dreamz

Rated NR

There’s a lesson to be learned here: If you are looking to pack laughs into your film, don’t cast the comic duo of Dennis Quaid and Willem Dafoe. Quaid plays a thinly veiled caricature of George W. Bush in this bland attempt to satirize the war on terrorism, American Idol and the U.S. media and government. Writer-director Paul Weitz picks too many targets and hits none of them, delivering comedy that is, at best, cringe-worthy. The plot involves the president, worried about his popularity after getting elected to a second term, booking an appearance on America’s No. 1 show, American Dreamz. Quaid hams it up as a president who suddenly gets into reading, and Dafoe gets to wear bald makeup and look frantic for most of the movie’s running time. Neither is provided much to do with Weitz’s weak script, something that thinks it’s clever but is far from it. Hugh Grant, Mandy Moore and Chris Klein are all wasted.

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