God Bless America (SIFF 2012)

Frank is living a sad existence. He’s divorced, his daughter hates him (though to be fair, she hates everyone), and when he attempts to perform an act of kindness for a coworker, he gets charged with harassment and fired under their “No Tolerance” policy. To top it all off, he’s been having terrible headaches and has just been told he has terminal brain cancer. He’s at the lowest he’s ever been, and late one night, he considers taking his own life. Just as he is about to off himself, he hears his idiot neighbors bicker and takes note of the mindless, cruel content spewing from his television. He is reminded of just how far society has spiraled downward.

With nothing to lose, he decides to use the little time he has left to help the world by removing some of the senseless cruelty in it. His first task is to hunt down a spoiled, rich, reality tv “mean girl” who constantly abuses others who don’t cave to her every whim. Roxy, an unpopular classmate of the “mean girl”, admires Frank and takes the opportunity to join him on his mission. Frank and Roxy, an unlikely duo, set out on their mission to slap some sense into America.

God Bless America is a pitch-black comedy that will make you feel guilty and uncomfortable for laughing at the terrible situations being portrayed on screen. However, you will probably laugh. Hard. This film will definitely offend some, but with its true-to-life portrayal of American culture, it’s hard not to sympathize with Frank’s decisions.

Bobcat Goldthwait’s observations on American culture shouldn’t be dismissed. American society seems to thrive on dumbed down ultra-partisan politics, regulatory conformity without thought, and ridiculing others for entertainment. American culture has become mean and unkind. If you had nothing to lose, would you join Frank and Roxy?

Highly recommended for its dark, comedic observation on the world around us. Sensitive viewers should probably refrain from viewing.

Provided Film Synopsis
Bobcat Goldthwait’s previous tales of alcoholic clowns (Shakes the Clown) and post-suicide fakery (World's Greatest Dad) were just warm-ups for God Bless America, an ultraviolent and ultra-hilarious tirade against the increasingly vapid, downward spiral of pop culture.

Everyman Frank (Joel Murray) is sick of the “constant cacophony of stupidity” that he sees around him every day - from banal office banter to insufferably trashy neighbors to the idiocy of cable television. After the one-two punch of losing his job and discovering he may have terminal cancer, Frank is ready to end it all. But a moment of televised nastiness leads him to realize that, rather than killing himself, he should rid the world of cruel, intolerant, and ignorant people, starting with a bratty reality TV princess.

Frank's bloody revenge is witnessed by 16-year-old high school outcast Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his passion for homicidal judgment. Together, this unlikely duo embark on a cross-country killing spree of dim-witted celebrities, hateful evangelists, and - in a particularly cathartic scene - people who talk in movie theatres.

Part Heathers, part Bonnie and Clyde, and all Bobcat, God Bless America is a bloody salve for the ailments of the collapsing American empire.

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Cast Members:

    • Geoff Pierson
    • Joel Murray
    • Larry Miller
    • Melinda Page Hamilton
    • Tara Lynne Barr
  • Countries:

    • USA
  • Languages:

    • English
  • Genres:

    • Black Comedy
    • Buddy Picture
    • Coming of Age
    • Cult
    • Road Movie
    • Social Issues