By Debbie Lynn Elias | Culver CityObserver
It has long been said that laughter is the best medicine for what ails you. Well, given the state of affairs in our world and country today, looks like we can all use a healthy dose. Best known for creating side-splitting laughter in films like “Airplane” and the “The Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie” franchises, we can always count on writer-director David Zucker to pop up at the most opportune time to deliver his own patented brand of self-deprecating, raucous, ribald, riotous slapstick-infused parodies of the good, the bad and the disastrous and AN AMERICAN CAROL is no different. Wielding wit and sarcasm with rapier precision, Zucker goes straight for the funny bone as he goes to far, far – okay, far – extremes showcasing t he right and left political ideologies, issues, ignorance and head-in-the-sand stupidity in America today (from both sides) with unbridled non-partisan enthusiasm and uproarious aplomb and equanimity. Come on folks! How can one not laugh at a Michael Moore look-a-like filmmaker being lectured to and inspired by the very real looking ghosts of JFK and General Patton while in a port-a-potty!
But the real casting gem here is Chriss Anglin as JFK. From JFK’s inaugural address to appearance, accent and demeanor, Anglin is mesmerizing. Given his superb performance, I find it difficult to believe that this is his first feature role. Often told “I looked like ‘a Kennedy’” and that “the opportunity of playing an icon like JF K would be a great experience” he jumped at the chance to work with Zucker . “ The prospect of playing JFK was a little scary at first, so I immediately starting doing research on him. In my first meeting with David, he told me JFK was not to be a parody. He wanted me to be as close to the real thing as possible. So, I started reading biographies, and all of his major speeches to try to get a feel for who he really was. I also watched everything I could find on Youtube to hear his speech patterns and get his mannerisms down as best as possible.
David also had me work with Robert Easton who is probably the greatest voice coach ever to refine the accent.” Anglin is proof that character research and hard work do pay off in the ultimate performance. I would actually place him up there close to the caliber of Martin Sheen’s JFK. With a commanding and confident presence, Anglin just nails it. Definitely a leading man on the horizon, I look forward to seeing much more from him in films to come.
An American Carol on DVD December 30, 2008