A Convenient Truth, a mockumentary that sends up corporate and political can-do-ism, lame energy policy, and maybe the documentary genre itself, is a tad late to the party.
We have many projects of this ilk, from the quarter-century-old The Onion to relative newcomers The Daily Show and the late Colbert Report. Unfortunately for A Convenient Truth, those productions are consistently sharp, quick, and timely, and delivered to a slice of the population eager to laugh at any skewering of the day’s corporate, political, and cultural bullshit.
Dominick Bagnato’s film suffers from the direct comparison he’s made to Al Gore’s powerful An Inconvenient Truth, which sparked our current climate change conversation and the grinding denier-machine it’s still up against. The film’s title, its smokestack poster, even its plodding, PowerPoint approach are hat-tips to Gore, but it all feels stale nine years on.
Bagnato’s actors are game; Alan Berman in the chief role in particular delivers all the preposterousness with an appealing smirky poise. The humor is there, with Easter eggs — a doll in a girl’s room with one eye closed in a Mark Twain–ish wink, an English learner’s constant repetition of the word “onion” — that are a bit ham-handed, but appreciated nonetheless.
The film doesn’t quite trust its audience, though, and, rather than get in and out with its points, belabors its jokes and its punches, to the point of tedium.