Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Of all the potentially great films showing at TIFF this year, perhaps the one I’m most excited for is Bobcat Goldthwait‘s God Bless America. There are good films and great films, and then movies that somehow seem made to tap directly into your own sensibilities and perspective. Goldthwait’s last film, World’s Greatest Dad, was one of those.
So I’m hoping that God Bless America, a comedy in which a middle-aged guy kills a teen reality TV star, might have some of the same appeal. (For me, at least.) In anticipation of the film’s premiere at Toronto, Bobcat Goldthwait is talking about what to expect from the movie and, to some extent, his own comic legacy. And there’s a poster for the movie, though it isn’t a great one.
The director/comedian told SanDiego.com about God Bless America:
It’s funny, the other day I showed it to my friends and I was really surprised that they were all kind of shocked by it. I think people think it’s a vigilante movie where this character goes out and starts killing reality stars. I mean that’s a little part of it, but it’s also kind of about where are we going and the culture and basically the dumbest members of our society. Sometimes when I hear myself giving interviews I want to punch myself in the throat, because I’m like, ‘Really, this is the dude from Police Academy pontificating about where are we going as a society, blah, blah, blah.’
There’s more at the original link, where Goldthwait goes into some ideas about standup and a few brief recollections of his own history. The end of that quote above, putting his Police Academy past into some sort of context with what he’s trying to do now, is a wonderful little bit of self-awareness. (As is this statement, from the second page of the interview linked above: “I’ve always kind of looked like fuck pie.” I don’t really know what that means, but I love it.)
If you haven’t been following along with our few news blasts about God Bless America, which stars Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr, here’s a synopsis:
Loveless, jobless, possibly terminally ill, Frank (Joel Murray) has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and offs the stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society. He finds an unusual accomplice: 16-year old Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement.
There’s also this poster for God Bless America, via HitFix. I’m hoping it’s just a sales sheet, because it’s pretty clunky. But the idea is there, and realized with a bit more skill I can see it turning into a potent image that will get peopel interested (or angry) about the film.