The Proper Care and Feeding of an American MessiahClosed Captioning
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About the Movie
"Proper Care and Feeding of an American Messiah" is the mock documentary story of a man who thinks he is a messiah. Not the messiah, but rather a local, regionally-selected messiah for his own hometown. He's on a quest, desperately trying to raise money for a town-wide rally where he hopes to announce his deity - and to determine his true, God-given 'special purpose' in life. Which may or may not have something to do with ailments of the lower gastrointestinal tract, but he won't be sure until he hears more or less directly from God.
If you enjoy "thinking comedy," this one is "laugh-out-loud funny"
There are so many different types of comedy that no type will amuse everybody. In a world where "fart jokes" are considered the height of comic achievement by the illiterates who make up much of the movie audience, this movie is one for people who like comedy that engages their brains instead of just their gag reflexes. Although the acting in, "the Proper Care and Feeding of an American Messiah," is good, this is a movie that's really driven by the script and the implications of the words coming from the characters. If you have the attention span of a 14-year-old, you won't find this funny. But if you're amused by dialogue that is dry and intelligent and ironic, you're going to laugh out loud at quite a bit of this movie. I saw this film at a festival a couple of years back, and the audience was very receptive to it. In general, it was the writing that I found funny. The production values were obviously designed to mimic a documentary, and they did a good job of making us think that's what we were watching. The core of the humor, though, is in the words coming from the mouth of Brian, the "local Messiah." It can be enjoyed on a number of levels, but it will be especially funny if you have a background in modern evangelical church culture. The humor is gently mocking of some things, but it's clear that the director has respect for the real meaning of Christianity. Mainly, the humor is funny because it's set against the backdrop of things that will be familiar to those of us who have been a part of churches. On the other hand, watching the "messiah" talking about how he sets his price for baptisms is funny whether you've been in churches or not. And I don't think you'll easily forget seeing the "messiah" show off his collection of "Jesus action figures." I highly recommend the movie for those who enjoy indie comedy.
This is an extremely fun mockumentary that ridicules at all those charlatans who pretend to be men of God, but are just in the religion biz for the money and/or to stroke their own ego. Hansen smartly keeps the joke going throughout the entire film without falling back on well-worn cliches. Also, a great lead performance by Dustin Olson really propels the film.