Making its Toronto debut as the opening film of this year’s Canadian Film Fest, #AnAmericanDream is the latest offering from Ken Finkleman, who is best known for his television series The Newsroom. #AnAmericanDream is a dark comedic journey, rife with social commentary and sardonic parodies, about a gullible young man as he journeys through the perils (or is it mainstays?) of modern day American society.
#AnAmericanDream is reminiscent of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, in which something happens, then something else happens, and something else after that, but without much meaning or consequence overall. Supporting characters and events are clearly constructed with underlying similarities to real events south of the border in mind, but then strung together with minimal effort, the key objective of the film being to hit all these notes, nevermind what’s going on in between.
That said, amidst its absurdist humour, #AnAmericanDream does grab the viewer’s interest and the story propels itself along at a decent pace. As one joke begins to get old, we throw to the next skit, and so forth. Finkleman should be applauded for his continued ability to take witty jabs at the societal ills of one of the greatest countries in the world. The only problem is that it fails to leave any lasting impression. At best it will be a hazy recollection of easily digestible laughs in audiences’ minds.
Is #AnAmericanDream essential festival viewing?
This film is definitely not a waste of time, but perhaps the question should be ‘is it worth your time?’ Those looking for light laughs and an evening of poking fun at our neighbors to the south might have an enjoyable experience. Those looking for true gems or essential viewing may want to look somewhere else.