Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 10 minutes
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Melissa Jenkins has a few things she seems somewhat miffed about. In no particular order:
Newscasters. She seems to think they’re idiotic ciphers who can only talk about what’s on the teleprompter in front of them, and can only project how happy they are to be reading the news.
Fundamental Christians, though this might be too broad a swath to cut. Particularly, Jenkins seems to be upset not so much that they exist, but that they tell other people they’ll be going to hell. Possibly she’s angry with God in general, but it’s tough to tell.
Gun owners. Jenkins seems to think they’re stupid, that they enjoy handing guns over to their small children and teaching them to shoot at targets labeled “not Christian.”
Oh, and the Klu Klux Klan. She seems unimpressed with them, and seems to think they are, for the most part, a collection of numbers two and three above.
I might have missed something in there, but I think that covers it.
It’s difficult to know what Jenkins was trying to accomplish with this film. As it opens, it seems to be a gag on the nightly news. Not a bad idea, since “Saturday Night Live” has been doing it for about thirty years now, with newscaster jokes ranging from the ironic to the punny, so perhaps there’s something to be said for going to that coal mine and stripping it just a bit more.
But then, the film turns into a gag on Christians, which perhaps would be funny if it were satirical or well thought out, but instead is, essentially, the work of a child sticking out his tongue at the idea of God.
This same problem infects the other segments – gun owners and the Klan. It’s been done, and done better, and even done recently, in “Bowling for Columbine.” And while that film was longer, and sharply scrutinized, it also accomplished two things this film does not – it managed to be funny, and it managed to pose interesting questions and provoke thought rather than boredom.
People like those whom Jenkins mocks usually end up on daytime talk shows, where the studio audience already ridicules them mercilessly. Skip this film, and check your local listings.
Posted on December 29, 2003 in Reviews by Joshua Grover-David Patterson
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