Funny Business Productions, Home Box Office

Will Ferrell, Michael Delaney, Pia Glenn, Adam Mucci, Patrick Ferrell

“This is a one-man Broadway show about George W.  Bush”, to paraphrase Mr. Dickens,  “This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am about to relate.”   I have read many reviews of others and I found several reasons why they hated this.  First and foremost because they don’t know what a one man Broadway show is supposed to be.   They figured because it was Will Ferrell that he would be acting like a stand up comic and do jokes all night.   That’s not what this is.  A one man show is a caricature of the life and times of G.W. and not just a series of jokes.   Most that hated it would rather they played SNL clips all night.   The others who hated it fall into two major groups.  Those that love G.W. and wanted a love fest with the man, and those that hate him and wished that Michael Moore had made the film.  It’s neither.  It’s sometimes bawdy and rowdy, and sometimes loving and gentle, but it’s certain not all bashing or praising, nor is it a series of skits from a Late Night TV show.

This was filmed by HBO for broadcast (hence no rating) and contains nude photos and lots of harsh language and questionable subject matter.  But it’s also a look into the life of Ex-President Bush.   It was filmed at the first performance on the Inaguration Day of his successor.  So some of the material is a little dated here nearly two years away, but it’s recent history and most will be able to put it into the time frame of the last day of G.W.’s presidency.  It covers George’s early years, in school, in the National Guard, and as Governor of Texas.  It has material about the election, selecting a cabinet, and things that happened during the 8 years that we all remember.  Most is fiction, of course, but there are some truly humorous moments.  It’s not a series of jokes, so it’s not funny like “fall down on the floor laughing” funny, but it has some very funny moments.

This is not as spot on as the impressions in a 3 minute SNL skit.  You can’t keep that up for 90 minutes.  But Will stays in character through the show, and you always know who he’s trying to portray.  He tries to get into the essence of the man, and for the most part does it very well.

There are times when we understand G.W. for what he was trying to do, and sometimes realizing his faults and foibles, and sometimes we watch him mocking himself for what he wishes he could do over.   I think this helps the show a lot, as you don’t have a one sided slant of hate or love that ruins the show.  Nobody is black and white, we all have lots of grays.

So as far as rating the film version of the show,  I didn’t think it was fantastic, but I didn’t think it was bad either.  I enjoyed watching it, and seeing a portrait of George W Bush behind the scenes, even though fictional, it could have happened.



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