Americatown: Where National Monuments Go to Mingle
A G-rated indie goof set in a mythically perfect American burg thats actually made up, location-wise, of landmarks from San Francisco to New York, this ensemble piece begins moving when a Pleasantville-style imbalance (after a population dip from 1,000 to 999, and a spilled cup of coffee) precipitates a rescue mission of sorts by the towns hapless bureaucrats. But the vibe rarely expands beyond dozy Comedy Central skits sprinkled with ironic cliches rather than jokes, 99 percent earnest slo-mo quirk and 1 percent funky non sequitur (the characters sport brand names, like Plymouth Ray-Ban), most of it explained rather than performed. With much of the budget spent on travel and greenscreening (Mount Rushmore, the Hollywood hills, Times Square, the Golden Gate Bridge), the filmmakers families crowd the credits, and there is a shruggable, huggable amiability offsetting the self-consciousness. The nonstop flag-waving notwithstanding, overt social commentary is oddly avoided. Feel free to scan the film as a kind of cellar-theater satire on Celebration, Florida, which has more severely critiqued itself with its recent real-life murder and suicide.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Scott Adkins Plays a Badass Actually Named ‘Colt McReady’ In the Effective ‘Close Range’
- Meet the Pole Who Tried to Warn the World About the Holocaust in ‘Karski & the Lords...
- Jane Fonda Faced Down the Seventies and a Killer in Pakula’s Masterful ‘Klute’
- He’ll Get Your Head Shaking: Surveying the Start of Chung Mong-hong’s (Likely) Great...