Comedic political documentaries are no longer the exclusive domain of the left.
In the tradition of – or more like in reaction to – box office hits like Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Sicko!” comes “I Want Your Money,” a two-hour diatribe against big government and Barack Obama’s presidency.
Billing itself as “a controversial look at government spending,” the film debuts in 500 theaters nationwide on Friday. Its trailer already has more than three million views on YouTube – besting even this week’s top box office earner “The Social Network.”
Some of the highlights… a scene where an animated Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama duke it out in the ring while Reagan schools Obama on economic policy; another animated scene where President Bill Clinton chases Sarah Palin; and man-on-the-street interviews relating Obama’s policies to socialism.
It also features interviews with leading conservatives Mike Huckabee, New Gingrich and HeadCount favorite John Stossel.
The flick hasn’t gotten as much mainstream media attention as the forthcoming education expose “Waiting for Superman” (perhaps evidence of the “liberal media bias” that conservatives often claim) but has been written up in the New York Times and other major outlets.
It’s also backed by a slick TV ad campaign that’s even running on NBC’s Meet the Press and the left-leaning cable news network MSNBC. The TV ad plays like an amped-up political commercial, with a punkish rock n’ roll soundtrack backing highlights from the movie that double as position statements. One quick clip shows an expert from a conservative think tank declaring that “Obama’s economic and domestic policies have been disastrous.” Another calls the ecomomic stimulus plan a “hoax.”
Producer and director Randy Griggs was little-known outside of conservative circles before making the film, but could quickly become as revered and reviled as Moore, should “I Want Your Money” be a hit.
I plan on seeing the film, but it does not seem to be running in any theater in my native New York City. The list of theaters, not surprisingly, seems to jibe with the geopolitical map of Red State America. Nothing in NYC but 21 different screens in Alabama.
Still, the relatively wide release could position “I Want Your Money” to become one of the top grossing documentaries of all time and the first conservative doc to ever crack that list. Moore has four docs in the top ten, while Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth is no. 5 and Bill Maher’s “Religulous” is no. 10.