A very disappointing lousy movie. Disappointing because the writer/director, Paul Weitz, had a previous movie, In Good Company, that was everything this one was not: funny, with likeable, believable, non-stereotypical characters. He also did About a Boy, also pretty good.
The premise is … well, there's something about an American Idol-like TV show, with a Simon Cowell-like host (played by Hugh Grant); a Dubya-like president (Dennis Quaid), puppeteered by a Rove/Cheney-like chief of staff (Willem Dafoe); an ambitious star-wannabe (Mandy Moore); a lovable show-tunes-loving terrorist. Could have been something funny in all that.
But American Dreamz just stinks. All the characters are either dolts or shits, and have no personality beyond what I would imagine was the one-sentence description in the initial pitch.
Disclaimer: I may have missed something, having fallen asleep for a good fraction of any hour in the middle of this. I doubt it, though. As the perceptive Ross Douthat writes: "Satire is funny; lectures aren't."