I recently took a (too) brief trip to New Orleans with a few of my friends. We rented an apartment and in our downtime when not out eating or bumping into drunks in the French Quarter, we sat around the living room attempting to entertain each other with musics and some morning Netflix. My friend browsed the recommendations based on what the other guests had viewed and this flick was one.
God Bless America is a dark comedy about a man named Frank that is just sick of terrible behavior that has become acceptable in the country as evidenced by an evening watching really bad television. After experiencing some chronic migraines his unsympathetic doctor informs him of an inoperable brain tumor, which has furthered dampened his mood causing him to contemplate suicide. As he is about to do the deed, he stops to watch a My Super Sweet Sixteen type show and decides to he’d rather end her life instead. One of her classmates, Roxy, witnesses the murder and decides she wants to join Frank’s crusade against the horrible people of society.
So they go around killing people whether public figures from television or the assholes that can’t keep quiet during a movie and somehow go without getting caught especially when many of their attacks have happened in broad daylight. The thing ends in a mass shootout on live television and that’s about it. While I appreciate the message of this film, that for some the American dream is now being driven by greed and endless attention from people you’d never meet, I can’t agree with the execution. I’m not about to turn this into a post about gun violence, but is it possible to convey a similar message in a different manner? The film raises great questions about our obsession of watching other people’s mundane lives and the media’s joy of churning out those very inexpensive programs because they know viewers will come. It’s a thought provoking film, but Frank and Roxy aren’t the couple to lead us into a jerk-free society.