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Directed by Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus

Running Time: 1:30

Not Rated

C


THE REVIEW

I generally like Al Franken. I've read, I believe, most of his books and usually find them entertaining. He is a comedian by trade after all, but a thoughtful one who does his research. As a fellow Democrat, it's fun reading along as he takes apart Republicans piece by piece. Of course he's doing the same thing they do to Democrats, but I know enough to understand that each side will do whatever they can to make the other side look stupid. It's all part of this game we call politics. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate between what's real and what Franken is making up for the sake of comedy, but I'ma lso smart enough to figure that out as well. And so, every book he publishes, I pick up from the library, read over the court of a few nights, and feel good about myself.

The problem with Al Franken: God Spoke, the movie version of the same thing, is, well... Franken looks kinda geeky. As an actor in movies and on TV, being a geek isn't a big deal, because you can tailor characters around who you really are. But in politics, the more ridiculous you look, the less likely someone will take you seriously. Add in the fact that most people know him first as a comedian, your first reaction to anything he says is to laugh. It's only when you realize what he said that you know you're supposed to boo or cheer or just remain thoughtful. When you see him in and amongst politicians, he looks like the little brother who wants to hang out with his big brother and all his friends. He kind of scurries along behind them, throwing jabs at them, trying to get them to react. His clothes look like they don't fit correctly, while most Senators dress like they should be in GQ. In politics, at least in my opinion, how you look seems to carry a lot of weight with voters. George Bush aside of course. The more powerful you look, the more seriously people take you. Franken, with his goofy glasses and smile that makes his eyes look like they're closed, doesn't appear powerful and on screen in this documentary, it's hard to take him seriously.

Not that I don't once again agree with his viewpoint, it's just that every time he opens his mouth to speak, I keep waiting for Stuart Smalley to pop out (and that's, OK.) And when you add in the fact that this documentary was shot before the 2004 Presidential election, everything feels very outdated. It's also a little sad seeing how Franken and his team really believe that John Kerry was going to win, only to have him soundly defeated in the end. It's entertaining watching him and Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly go after each other because I truly believe Franken can outsmart and outwit both of them. But again, their guy won the election two years ago, so watching them attack each other now seems like old news. I didn't realize Franken had been talking about running for Senator in his home state of Minnesota, so that was new news, but based on his look and his part, I fear his ability to actually win.

THE BOTTOM LINE

So overall, Al Franken: God Spoke is a sometimes entertaining documentary, but one that feels outdated. Franken can be good for some funny moments but watching him and reading him are two completely different things, and I would stick with his books.

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The Truth (with jokes)

$16.48 Hardcover

Lies and the Lying Liars
Who Tell Them: A Fair
and Balanced Look at the Right

$24.95 Hardcover

Rush Limbaugh Is
a Big Fat Idiot

$10.78 Paperback

I'm Good Enough,
I'm Smart Enough, and
Doggone It, People Like Me!:
Daily Affirmations
By Stuart Smalley

$12.20 Paperback
Prices subject to change
reviewed 09/12/06

© 2006 Wolfpack Productions

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