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God Bless America

Taking out the trash, one jerk at a time 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait 
Starring: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr, Mackenzie Brooke Smith  
An image from God Bless America

From the sharp satirical mind of Bobcat Goldthwait, whose last movie World’s Greatest Dad pushed the limits of dark humour, comes this black and twisted comedy that finds new ways to test the boundaries of bad taste.

God Bless America follows Frank Murdoch (Murray). Frank is one depressed individual. He lives alone, he is divorced, his spoiled brat of a child won’t give him the time of day and he is sick of how America has let itself fall into a state of idiocracy as a result of pop culture, reality television and moronic radio. Oh, and he also gets fired from his un-fulfilling job as an insurance salesman after an act of kindness towards a female co-worker is misinterpreted as sexual harassment.

To make matters even worse for poor old Frank, he is told that he has an inoperable brain tumour and is going to die very soon. More than ready to take his own life, something inside Frank stops him from doing so, or perhaps it was the bitchy rich teenager Chloe on My Sweet Sixteen complaining about her poor life that is just ‘so unfair’(boo hoo). It is at this moment that Frank decides to take matters into his own hands and clean up America, by taking out everyone who contributes to the moronic society that America has fallen into. Along the way, he finds a partner in the most unlikely form, a teen-aged girl by the name of Roxy Harmon, who has as much disdain for society as Frank, but nowhere near as much wisdom. The bizarre duo take their quest on the road, cleaning up America, one jerk at a time.

Often a bitter pill to swallow, God Bless America is a brave, often hilarious study of the absurdity of modern American society coupled with blistering violence. If you are aware of Goldthwait’s brand of comedy then you will certainly know what to expect; it is a voice that is unique, entertaining, and one that also contains a somewhat convincing argument.

Andrew Gaudion

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Spring Term (digital)