According to the press notes accompanying this documentary feature, filmmaker Patrick Lovell “set out to discover why the American Dream failed him and millions of others.” However, it appears that Lovell is less interested in the “millions of others” and more interested in himself.
Lovell tries to usurp Michael Moore’s shtick as the camera-toting champion for the beleaguered everyman. The problem is that whereas Moore concentrates on his distinctive political views rather than his personal misadventures, Lovell’s film feels like a shameless vanity video – in fact, the film’s opening sequence is a seemingly endless skein of footage and photographs of the filmmaker in the midst of skate boarding romps and skiing and scuba diving trips.
Lovell’s personal woes are centered on the foreclosure of his home, which he blames on his mortgage servicers. The fact that he took out an expensive mortgage without having a secured income stream to guarantee steady loan payments is casually overlooked. Nonetheless, he quickly raises funds for a cross-country motor trip where he interviews members of the Occupy Wall Street protests and a variety of talking head experts, but everyone he meets repeats the now-tiresome observation that the “system” is broken.
With nearly every interview, however, Lovell hogs the camera with his bombastic on-screen personality, which makes the film almost unwatchable at times. The film ultimately offers no solutions, let alone a suggestion that many people might actually be responsible for their own fiscally reckless behavior, and Lovell’s decision to start a political action committee gives the hint that film sequels might be in the works.
Let’s hope not! As non-fiction filmmaking goes, this work is a complete disaster.