American Dreamz Gets A Few Laughs Lampooning American Idol. Michelle’s Review!

The irrepressible host that everyone loves to hate, American Idol’s Simon Cowell stars in, Paul Weitz’s latest comedy “American Dreamz” wait a minute, that’s not Simon, that’s Hugh Grant imitating Simon. I’m so confused. “American Dreamz,” as the song goes, that’s “Dreamz with a Z” is a parody about the most popular show on the planet, American Idol.

This film is almost a meet and greet, or homecoming, for the Paul Weitz “comedy troupe,” as it features a cast that has appeared in his numerous other films including Hugh Grant who starred in Weitz’s “About A Boy,” Chris Klein who was in Weitz’s “American Pie,” and Dennis Quaid who starred in last year’s “In Good Company.”

In Dreamz, Vincent Chase’s girlfriend Mandy Moore is Sally Kendoo a smalltime girl who has dreams of becoming a big star. Behind her squeaky clean, white trash image is a woman who will do anything to get ahead and make her dream come true. When slimy host Martin Tweed (Grant) meets her, he’s instantly taken with the conniving little minx and decides to take her under his wing. Tweed attempts to rig the contest by pushing the terrible Muslim broadway singer, Omer (Sam Golzari who steals the film) to the top spot, so that Sally will win the contest.

The only problem is Omer, is not only a wannabe singer, but he’s also a bumbling member of a terrorist cell who is sent to America because the leaders don’t want him around. When the leaders discover that the President of the United States (Dennis Quaid) is going to help Tweed judge the final two, they hatch a plan to assassinate him.

All of the actors in this film do what about you expect them to. No one really branches out beyond their basic stereotypes. Hugh Grant is at his Hugh “Grantiest,” Klein is almost the same in this as he was in “American Pie” and in a strange way, Quaid’s President reminded me of his In Good Company character, only a little more bumbling, and playing a straight man to Willem Dafoe’s manic impersonation of “Dick Chaney.”

Most of the bits with Omer in the Terrorist camp, at home with his American-Muslim relatives, and singing on stage were hysterically funny, while everything having to do with the Presidential assassination should have been excised all together.

Dreamz is a hard film to review as it’s not so much a movie, but a collection of bits strung together to give you a close proximity of what a film should be. But then that’s the case with most parodies, look at Scary Movie 4 as a reference. Whether you like the film or not will be based solely on whether there are more laughs than not, luckily Dreamz has it’s moments of Weitz’s dry humor that makes the film work.

Dreamz is a disappointment, but it’s a Paul Weitz – who gets a pass from me because he did one of my top 50 films, “About A Boy,” plus I love all the Omer bits, and last year I announced that I’m a big Hugh Grant fan, so for those three reasons alone, it worked for me.

EM Grade C+

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 5/21/06

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