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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M infielder Trinity Cannon (6) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Friday, May 24, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Dream on

 
 

“AMERICAN DREAMZ” attempts to satirize America’s obsession for bland commercial drivel in lieu of real political issues. Unfortunately, writer and director Paul Weitz has created an hour and a half of more bland, commercial drivel. Pretty faces and mildly amusing performances help make this silly ensemble comedy easier to swallow, but biting observational humor this is not. “Dreamz” is political satire for dummies.
Hugh Grant plays Martin Tweed, the host of “American Dreamz,” a televised singing competition. A fountain of self-loathing and jerkitude, Tweed represents the other half of Grant’s acting range. While nobody has ever accused Grant of being a versatile actor, his role in “Dreamz” is a phone-in performance.
Mandy Moore plays Sally Kendoo, an ambitious Southern girl who fills the empty hole in her soul with dreams of superstardom. Used mostly for her celebrity status and singing ability, Moore’s performance may not be anything special, but at least she knows how to deliver a joke – kinda.
Utilizing the wide-eyed, good ol’ boy charm that made him semi-famous in the late ’90s, Chris Klein plays Sally’s punching bag of a boyfriend who is dragged along Sally’s rise to fame in order to capitalize on his injured Iraq-veteran status.
Meanwhile, Omer (Sam Golzari) is an inept terrorist who is transferred to America as a sleeper agent after bumbling through terrorist camp. Omer’s hidden dreams of Broadway music eventually get him noticed by Tweed’s production crew and earn him a spot on the new season of “American Dreamz.”
Omer’s interaction with his fellow terrorists are laugh-out-loud funny in their larger-than-life presentation of American stereotypes and assumptions of the Middle East. Using the classic “fish out of water” formula, Weitz creates spot-on situational comedy for Golzari to bounce off of Omer. From his overtly Americanized host family, of which Academy Award nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo plays the matriarch, to the silliness transposed onto Omer’s terrorist superiors, the scenes featuring Omer would be considered instant classics on “Saturday Night Live” or “MadTV.”
Rounding off the main cast is Dennis Quaid as President Staton, a clear reflection of President Bush. While Quaid does an admirable job channeling our current president, he isn’t given much to work with as far as material goes. Besides some cheap shots at the administration, there is nary an original joke made that hasn’t already been done to death by other more talented comedians. Willem Dafoe’s performance as the Cheney-esque Vice President Sutter suffers the same mistreatment. Dafoe throws himself into a character that isn’t given proper space to develop into anything larger then a simple caricature.
There is a real need for smart political satire in today’s world. Jon Stewart and “The Onion” consistently deliver edgy material that finds humor in the truth. It’s a real shame then that Paul Weitz, a genuinely talented filmmaker, could not produce something more special than cast-off opening monologue jokes with his bigger budget and more talented workforce. The movie does have its funny moments and isn’t a total waste of time, but watching it, one can’t help but wonder what could have been.

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