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"AMERICAN DREAMZ"
(2006) (Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor *Heavy *Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Mild Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Mild Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: As a terrorist group tries to get an inept, show tune loving member to become a finalist on a TV talent show so that he can kill the bumbling President of the United States, another aspiring star finds herself drawn into the world of manipulation ruled over by the show's self-loathing host.
PLOT:
Martin Tweed (HUGH GRANT) is the self-loathing host of the popular TV talent show "American Dreamz," but has grown tired of its popularity, the usual array of contestants, and even himself. Accordingly, he orders his assistants to get him some variety and conflict, specifically asking for both a Jew and Arab to spice things up a bit.

After landing Orthodox rapper Sholem (ADAM BUSCH), they go looking for the flamboyant American-Arab Iqbal (TONY YALDA), but instead find his cousin Omer (SAM GOLZARI), an aspiring terrorist whose complete ineptness in the line of work and love of show tunes has him sent to American to get him out of the way. Iqbal's sister Shazzy (NOUREEN DeWULF) is amused that her brother was passed over, and he eventually decides to go behind the scenes and become Omer's agent.

But the odds are stacked against them since Martin has taken a liking to sweet looking contestant Sally Kendoo (MANDY MOORE) from Middle America. While he's attracted by her good looks, he also sees a bit of his manipulative, anything goes persona within her, meaning she's something of a kindred spirit. And with her fame-craving mother Martha (JENNIFER COOLIDGE) and new agent Chet (SETH MEYERS) willing to do anything to help her win, Sally decides to take back boyfriend William Williams (CHRIS KLEIN), only because his brief service in Iraq might win her more votes.

And some of the latter could come from newly reelected President Joseph Staton (DENNIS QUAID). Upon winning a second term in the White House, the dimwitted ruler has become something of a recluse after deciding to read the newspaper and learning there's more to the world than what Chief of Staff Wally (WILLEM DAFOE) has told him. As the First Lady (MARCIA GAY HARDEN) looks on, Wally realizes they have to do something to get the President's numbers back up, so he negotiates to get Staton on the final show as a guest judge. All of which draws the interest of Omer's handlers back in the Middle East. Sending a team to America to motivate him, they want Omer to make the finals and then kill the President.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast or of the TV show "American Idol," it's a good bet they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language and some sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HUGH GRANT plays the self-loathing host of the popular TV talent show who wants to spice things up a bit this season and then finds himself drawn physically and philosophically to Sally with whom he eventually sleeps. He briefly uses strong profanity.
  • DENNIS QUAID plays the bumbling President of the United States who has a bit of an awakening when he starts reading the newspaper and sees what's really going on in the world beyond what his Chief of Staff has been feeding him.
  • MANDY MOORE plays a Middle American singer who seems sweet on the surface but will do most anything to win the contest, including leading on William and sleeping with Martin.
  • CHRIS KLEIN plays Sally's loyal boyfriend who supports her through thick and thin until the very end. He briefly serves military time in Iraq where he gets wounded.
  • JENNIFER COOLIDGE plays Sally's fame-craving mother.
  • WILLEM DAFOE plays Staton's manipulative Chief of Staff who's really the one who runs the White House and negotiates to get the President on the show to boost his numbers.
  • SAM GOLZARI plays an inept, show tune loving terrorist who's sent to America to be out of the way. When he gets on the show, his handlers plot to use him to kill the President, something about which he's not particularly excited.
  • TONY YALDA plays Omer's presumably gay or at least highly flamboyant cousin who's upset Omer was picked over him to be on the talent show but then decides to be his agent.
  • NOUREEN DeWULF plays his sister who finds amusement in the above situation.
  • ADAM BUSCH plays an Orthodox Jew who performs raps songs on the show.
  • SETH MEYERS plays Sally's manipulative agent who will do anything to help her win.
  • MARCIA GAY HARDEN plays the First Lady who doesn't have much to do for most of the film.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 3 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Sexually related dialogue and some song lyrics are present, as is an off-screen sexual encounter, while a minor character is portrayed as being highly flamboyant (and thus, by extension, presumably gay).

    All sorts of bad attitudes are present (presented in a politically incorrect, comedy fashion), including from terrorists who want to kill the President of the United States with a bomb. Two people do die in an explosion (also played for comedy, but without sight of the actual deaths, etc.), while a soldier is grazed by a bullet in Iraq. Various characters drink, some brief, verbal-based crude humor occurs, while a little bit of tense family material is present, as are various topics to talk about.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people have beer.
  • The First Lady wants to give the President some of her "happy pills" for his condition.
  • Omer's aunt and uncle have drinks.
  • Staton tells Wally that he kind of remembers something from the past but adds that he was pretty "toasted" then (drunk), prompting Wally to ask if he's doing that again (and then wonders if he has a bottle hiding somewhere).
  • Martha offers a beer for Martin, but he declines the offer.
  • Martin refers to his mother (who's not present) as "You jealous drunk old bitch."
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar.
  • Martin and his two assistants have drinks.
  • When he hears the term "placebos," Staton asks, "Aren't they illegal?" When he's told what they are, he says that he sort of feels like one.
  • When Staton asks the First Lady about the first time they met, she reminds him that she said, "Hey jerk-off, you spilled your beer on me."
  • Sally has beer and cake, and then offers to buy Omer a beer, but he says he doesn't drink.
  • Various people have various forms of alcohol (drinks, beer, wine, etc.) while watching the final show from a number of different locations (a living room, a bar, etc.).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Sally mentions wife swapping or eating a sheep's anus as something anyone can do to gain attention.
  • William and others in the Army hold onto rifles in a convoy truck when a bullet pierces the inside and grazes William's arm, slightly bloodying it.
  • About a performance, Martin tells a contestant, "You made me want to projectile vomit."
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the following is played for comedy.
  • Some viewers might not like the obvious comedic jab at President Bush.
  • Martin doesn't like himself and doesn't show much respect for others, except for Sally with whom he eventually has sex (despite her being a contestant on his show, having a boyfriend, etc.).
  • Martin's comment that human talent equals flawed people that then equal freaks.
  • Sally breaks up with William despite him being loving and fully supportive.
  • When Wally finds Staton reading a Canadian newspaper, he says, "Who outside of Canada gives a sh*t about the Canadian press?"
  • Wally's comment that "The Lord did pick you" (to be President) -- some viewers might not like that comment.
  • Martha lies to William about her not being home when he comes to say good-bye (with Sally knowing that's occurring).
  • Realizing he needs to spice up his show, Martin tells his assistants to bring him an Arab and a Jew.
  • Shazzy refers to Iqbal as a "super gay-meister," prompting him to call her a "hairy she-male."
  • Although his orientation is never exactly specified, Iqbal is portrayed as being flamboyantly gay (some viewers might not like that).
  • The various Arab characters are little more than stereotypes (some viewers might not like that).
  • Sally's agent tells her she needs to lose twenty pounds to appear on TV and she refuses.
  • Sally takes William back (after dumping him and his return from Iraq having been slightly wounded there) only because her agent says it might help her win on the talent show.
  • Wally essentially runs the White House operation by controlling the President in most every aspect of his administration.
  • Martin refers to his mother (who's not present) as "You jealous drunk old bitch."
  • A terrorist operative commands that Omer get to the final round on the show and then kill the President upon meeting him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • All of the following is played for comedy.
  • William and others in the Army hold onto rifles in a convoy truck when a bullet pierces the inside and grazes William's arm, slightly bloodying it (we hear lots of gunfire outside the truck).
  • William finds Omer's discarded bomb and dons it on stage during the show, prompting everyone to panic and flee, except for Staton and Martin.
  • An explosion from a bomb kills two people (we don't see the impact or deaths).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see a cartoon tank during the opening credits.
  • Machine guns are fired by terrorist trainees during practice sessions.
  • William and others in the Army hold onto rifles in a convoy truck when a bullet pierces the inside and grazes William's arm, slightly bloodying it (we hear lots of gunfire outside the truck).
  • We see the terrorists prepping the plastic explosives that they want Omer to use (and they smuggle it in as chewing gum).
  • William finds Omer's discarded bomb and dons it on stage during the show, prompting everyone to panic and flee, except for Staton and Martin.
  • An explosion from a bomb kills two people (we don't see the impact or deaths).
  • Secret Service agents hold guns as they rush Staton out of the show.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "It's driving me out of my f*cking mind," "Turn that f*cking thing off," "What the f*ck?" "Who outside of Canada gives a sh*t about the Canadian press?" "Bullsh*t," "I think I might be Omer-sexual," "He nailed her," "This guy's pathetic," "Let's shoot this puppy" (a training video), "We tore him a new one," "G-damnit" (said just like that), "The whole damn thing," "Their heads up their stink-holes," "Get your ass in gear," "Shut up," "Shut your gaping pie hole," "Screw you," "What the hell /is going on/is that/is he doing?" "Have you had a freaking nervous breakdown?" "One hell of a president," "Gone cuckoo," "Dirty bitch," "Kissing (your) ass," "Holy crap," "Hell of a week," "You will be Omer-ized," "That's my dawg," "I'm coming for you, bitches," "Hey jerk-off," "That bitch deserves to suffer," "You're wigging out," "Where the hell is he?" "Freaking," "You stupid moron," "He nailed it" and "He's an idiot."
  • Wally tells Staton that he told them "we torn him a new one" (referring to winning the election at the expense of the loser).
  • William shows that he has a tattoo of Sally on his arm.
  • About a performance, Martin tells a contestant, "You made me want to projectile vomit."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Iqbal sings the opening lines of "Super Freak" (including "She's a very sexy girl, the kind you don't bring home to mother").
  • A contestant sings a song with the lyrics, "Let's get raunchy tonight" and "Let's get raunchy alright."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "f" words, 2 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("nailed"), 10 hells, 6 asses, 3 damns, 1 crap, 8 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "Oh my Lord" and 1 use each of "G-damn" (said as "G-damnit"), "God," "Good God" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • About a woman breaking up with him, Martin says that the sex is wonderful.
  • Sally shows some cleavage several times in the film.
  • Sally mentions wife swapping or eating a sheep's anus as something anyone can do to gain attention.
  • Iqbal sings the opening lines of "Super Freak" (including "She's a very sexy girl, the kind you don't bring home to mother").
  • About picking contestants for the show, Martin says he wants someone to masturbate over and then says that maybe they already have that (possibly referring to Sally).
  • William and Sally briefly do some passionate kissing (clothed and standing).
  • Omer and 3 terrorists are shirtless in a sauna while having a meeting.
  • A contestant sings a song with the lyrics, "Let's get raunchy tonight" and "Let's get raunchy alright."
  • Martin jokes that he might be "Omer-sexual."
  • Shazzy shows a lot of cleavage in several different outfits.
  • Martin's female assistant sounds slightly aroused as she says, "A little higher" while being frisked by the Secret Service.
  • Right before the final show, Sally tells Martin that she's not physically attracted to others, but that if he wants her (sexually), "I'm yours." Martin then says that when he's been physically intimate with others, it usually leads to mutual loathing, adding that he doesn't want that to happen to them. However, he then adds, "That said..." Later, a staffer and then William look through the keyhole into Sally's dressing room and the latter apparently sees them having sex (we don't hear or see anything). Later, after both are dressed, Martin asks Sally if she feels filthy and she says not really. Later, William confronts them on stage and asks Sally, "How could you sleep with Mr. Tweed?" and the comment "he nailed her" is made.
  • SMOKING
  • Wally holds what looks like an unlit cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Omer is reminded that his mother was killed by an American bomb (but little else is made of this).
  • Shazzy refers to Iqbal as a "super gay-meister," prompting him to call her a "hairy she-male."
  • Iqbal isn't pleased that his cousin has "stolen" his dreams by being picked to appear on the TV talent show.
  • Sally says that her father lives in Chicago with another man.
  • Martin refers to his mother (who's not present) as "You jealous drunk old bitch."
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Satire.
  • Omer is reminded that his mother was killed by an American bomb.
  • Martin's comment that if one is on top, the only place to go is up.
  • Martin's comment that human talent equals flawed people that then equal freaks.
  • Wally brings up the terrorist angle (to scare people), saying they could end life on Earth, but then completes his response by saying, "So let's be positive."
  • Wally's comment that "The Lord did pick you" (to be President).
  • William joins the Army, stating that he's trying to find meaning by defending his country.
  • The comment that agents act mean and greedy so that their clients seem like nice people.
  • Although his orientation is never exactly specified, Iqbal is portrayed as being flamboyantly gay.
  • The various Arab characters are little more than stereotypes.
  • Sally says that her father lives in Chicago with another man.
  • Wally's comment that they're making democracies.
  • Wally essentially runs the White House operation by controlling the President in most every aspect of his administration.
  • The comment that being famous means you can become detached from reality.
  • When he hears the term "placebos," Staton asks, "Aren't they illegal?" When he's told what they are, he says that he sort of feels like one.
  • Sally says she weighed 200 pounds at the age of 10, but that when she lost the weight, she then became popular.
  • Martin's comment that bad is such a nebulous word.
  • The comment that it's better to deal with reality no matter how unpleasant that might be.
  • VIOLENCE
  • During training, some would-be terrorists run into each other and several run and use Omer as a springboard after he smacks into a wall he was supposed to scale.
  • Another terrorist breaks Omer's album to stop him from playing and singing along with it.
  • Sally accidentally falls down some stairs but is okay.
  • Sally throws and breaks her hand mirror while upset.
  • William and others in the Army hold onto rifles in a convoy truck when a bullet pierces the inside and grazes William's arm, slightly bloodying it (we hear lots of gunfire outside the truck).
  • An explosion from a bomb kills two people (we don't see the impact or deaths).



  • Reviewed March 30, 2006 / Posted April 21, 2006

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

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