American Dreamz

"American Dreamz" is my idea of a mean, spiteful dark comedy and I really liked it!

Hugh Grant ("Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Bridget Jones' Diary") finally gets to play a self-loathing character with few or no, redeeming qualities. He is a self-centered host of an "American Idol"-type TV show. We watch him mistreat his staff, boink the contestants, squander his wealth and enjoy (and abuse) his celebrity.

On the other hand, we become involved in the lives of some of the would-be stars: The talentless singers, the dancers without rhythm, the clumsy magicians, etc. One of the evolving characters is an Arab who is a closet Showtunes aficionado. When, to everyone's surprise, he makes the finals, to his horror he is recruited to be a suicide bomber.

Another character is a Southern gal played by Mandy Moore ("A Walk to Remember") who IS talented, ambitious, scheming, and absolutely without mercy. She ruthlessly exploits her ex-boyfriend's injuries when he returns home from his tour of duty in Iraq, and the camera catches her eyes as they quickly verify that her (fake) emotional greeting is caught on film. Hugh Grant's character spots it and she makes the finals because he wants folks on his show who know how to maximize their opportunities.

Dennis Quaid ("In Good Company") sweetly plays a clueless US President who thinks he detects some contempt on the part of the media and his staff. Consequently, he decides to rectify the impression he makes by reading a book or two. As he reads more and more, his staff panics because he is starting to have opinions of his own; and his ever- patient wife, played by Marcia Gay Harden ("Mystic River") is amazed! Our poor president discovers that there are no easy solutions to the world situation and becomes immobilized with confusion.

Thus goes the tale... You won't expect it, you won't disagree with it... Again, okay on Netflix, not worth a ticket in a theatre...