The Wall Street Journal can spend all the time it wants fancifully imagining that The Dark Knight is a secret testimonial to the heroism of George W. Bush. Here in the real world, the president is less than entirely popular in Hollywood (indeed, that may be one of the kindest things you can say about him), as I was reminded watching last week's two top big-screen openers, Step Brothers and The X-Files: I Want to Believe, both of which use W. as a disposable, no-explanation-necessary punchline.
Step Brothers is dedicated to the president, in its way, opening with his 2000 quote, "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." In The X-Files, the joke is more random still: As Mulder and Scully walk down a hallway at FBI headquarters, they notice a portrait of Bush. As they stare for a moment, we're treated to that ever-recognizable "X-Files" musical spike (boo-boo-boo-boo-Boo-boo). The content of the joke is unclear--is Bush an alien? are we supposed to marvel that we've entered a world so paranormal that he could be president?--but that merely highlights the extent to which Hollywood considers him a Gag for All Seasons.
But why settle for a single joke when you can have an entire movie? When word of some of the casting for Oliver Stone's upcoming biopic W. first leaked, it sounded as though it might play as an unintentional comedy. (Rob Corddry as Ari Fleischer? The gods are smiling.) Now that the trailer is out, however, it looks as though the humor may be intentional:
Who do you think you are, a Kennedy?