You know that feeling when after a few minutes of watching a movie you just know it’s going to be great? And then after those five minutes are up, the movie gets even better? Well, the movie we’re going to talk about today is like that. God Bless America is a movie offering a refreshingly satirical take on American society and system of values. It’s also an outlet for all of those who feel wronged by it. All of those who have been talking about certain issues for what feels like forever without anyone noticing. Above all, this is a brutally honest examination of our society in general, much like the nineties hit Falling Down.
We will be following an older man and a younger girl going on a murderous rampage through the US. Kind of like unhinged Leon with infinitely more humor. God Bless America is not just a movie about the United States, it’s a movie about every fucking country in the world. And do you know why? Because every country in the fucking world adheres to the same system of values, a tribal one. There are differences in approaches and other issues but at the heart of the problem lies our ancient tribal system of values and the way we define ourselves and others. As you can see, I already started to rand because this is one of those movies that gets you going after you see it. One of those thought-provoking masterpieces we sorely need.
However, this is also a highly entertaining movie discussing a lot of current topics with style. Basically, God Bless America is a movie that verbalizes everything we usually keep to ourselves or our close circle of friends. It talks about reality shows, children, babies, annoying neighbors, and celebrities in such a way you instantly think, hey, that’s what I think about these things. It’s a movie that shows you that there are other people out there who think like you, uniting us in our hope or desperation, depending on how you look at the issue.
Meet Frank, your average middle-aged divorced guy living alone and working a dead-end job. He’s permanently unhappy with a lot of things testing his patience all the time. To somehow get to the next day, he drinks and watches television, unable to break the vicious circle. However, there’s one aspect of his life that’s wonderful. And that’s his female coworker always bringing a smile to his face. Until one unfortunate event sets off a chain of even more unfortunate events pushing Frank into an uncontrollable spiral.
I’ve already mentioned Falling Down but I should also mention Breaking Bad, Idiocracy, and Super as further examples of movies with storylines similar to God Bless America. Apart from those, the movie also pays homage to Jackie Brown, Back to the Future, and other cult classics. It remains original, fast-paced, and entertaining throughout its short runtime of just ninety minutes. I have to admit that I remember the writer and director of this movie Bobcat Goldthwait as Zed from the Police Academy movies. You know the one with the weird screechy voice?
Now I know he’s a fucking genius. And if you want further proof of that just check out his documentary Call Me Lucky. However, Bobcat was not the only genius in this movie as everything hinged on one man giving a perfect performance. And Joel Murray, playing Frank, gave it everything he’s got making this movie an instant cult classic. I know this isn’t my usual Rabbit Reviews movie recommendation but I think it’s good to sometimes go off script. And with that, I wish you a pleasant viewing of the probably best movie of the year 2011, God Bless America.
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Writer: Bobcat Goldthwait
Cast: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr, Mackenzie Brooke Smith, Melinda Page Hamilton
Fun Facts: Bobcat Goldthwait wrote the script for this movie as a present for his wife.