Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid and Mandy Moore star in writer/director Paul Weitz's (About A Boy) satire that mixes politics with pop culture.
Quaid plays U.S. President Joe Stanton, a take off on President George W. Bush; Moore is Sally Kendow, an ambitious contestant on an "American Idol" type show; and Grant plays Martin Tweed, the host of the show. He does a funny take on the outspoken and abrasive Simon Cowell.
President Stanton agrees to go on the show as a celebrity judge in order to bolster his poor approval numbers. Perhaps it's not such an outrageous idea with the widespread popularity of reality shows.
Quaid's imitation of the President as a dim bulb has been done to death and there's nothing fresh here and Grant, who usually plays a charming cad, does so again with ease. But Moore is surprisingly good as the cutthroat Sally. This is a different type of role for her, and she does herself proud.
American Dreamz is biting, sometimes funny and mostly clever.