Shrill Satire ‘Ron and Laura Take Back America’ Targets Conservatives but Only Truly Makes Its Own Creators Look Bad


Intolerance has rarely been more intolerably unfunny than in Ron and Laura Take Back America, a mockumentary spoof of Republicans so broad-brushstroke crude it’s apt to make liberals sympathize with its subjects.

In Bakersfield, California, married couple Ron and Laura (writers/directors/stars Mel England and Janice Markham) decide to take a stand against socialist Obamacare by involving themselves in a health-food-store-related brouhaha. Their activism leads to confrontations with just about everyone a clichéd conservative might loathe: gays, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, hippie yoga instructors.

The couple’s lives truly begin to tailspin after learning that their son (Christiaan van Bremen) is engaged to marry his black roommate (Tony Sanders), though that’s just one of the film’s many eye-rollingly pedestrian politicized incidents. Others include problems with Ron’s senile mother (Sheila Oaks) and her Latino caregiver (Galicia Vaca Lopez) and Laura’s increasing infatuation with a celebrity designer (Jim J. Bullock).

There’s only one joke here — GOP voters are bigoted, Stars and Stripes–wearing clowns — and it’s handled with the sort of blunt, bludgeoning mean-spiritedness that it slams them for peddling. Equating volume with humor, England and Markham stage their material with maximum amounts of hysterical screaming, all of it leading to climactic health-care-centric irony that’s so simplistic even Michael Moore would have been too embarrassed to include it.

Ron and Laura Take Back America
Written and directed by Mel England and Janice Markham
Vox Box Entertainment and Magical Iguana Productions
Opens March 25, Cinema Village