Capitalism: A Love Story
Rated R; Directed by Michael Moore
For anyone upset about the way the economy is going and wondering why the American Dream feels a little bit more like a nightmare, Michael Moore’s newest film, Capitalism: A Love Story will let you know that you’re not alone with these feelings. In his documentary about the problems of our economic way of life in this country, Moore takes his normal tack of using humor, confrontation, and finding people who demonstrate the evils of capitalism in a heartfelt manor. The honchos of Wall Street and Washington, D.C. may enjoy their romance with capitalism, but Moore shows, that for the rest of us, it’s a bad relationship.
For anyone who has not seen any previous Michael Moore documentary — Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 911, or Sicko, — Moore likes to use a wry voiceover with clips from old movies, interviews with various experts, plus footage of people affected by the subject he covers (the health system in Sicko; guns in Bowling for Columbine). In Capitalism: A Love Story Moore takes on a big subject and often succeeds. Some of the segments in the documentary offer plenty of humor, while others will bring tears. Moore also relies on his old standby: showing up at places of business with a camera crew to try to talk to the people in charge. This gets old, but in this film there’s a moment where fun occurs when he uses footage of him trying to get into the offices of General Motors from his 1989 Roger and Me, and his current attempts to try the same.
Attacking Capitalism (with a capital “C”) is almost too big to handle. Moore covers various evils of the system: foreclosures, “dead peasant” insurance, the political power of Goldman Sachs, and the hazards of the profit motive. Many of his attacks are strong, while some seem tangential to the big picture. This scattershot style may just be due to the inability to give a comprehensive overview of the subject within a two-hour period.
Michael Moore’s style is not to everyone’s taste, but in Capitalism: A Love Story he covers a subject that affects us all. And unless you’re a CEO of Goldman Sachs, you’re affected in a less than positive way. Capitalism: A Love Story is not a happy romance, but it is often a moving indictment of power, money, and politics.