Directed by Elinor Burkett & Patrick Wright

Theories abound regarding the identity and motivation of leggy loon
Ann Coulter, but my favorite is that she’s actually the long-dead Andy
Kaufman, back in black (and sans penis) after a twenty year absence.
It certainly makes the most sense, as she’s so carefully crafted an
image of the fascistic whore that it simply cannot be anything but a
parody or clever performance art. But even if Ms. Coulter means
everything she says without even a portion of her acid-dripped tongue
in cheek, she’s undeniably watchable; a nutty, over-the-top caricature
of the extreme Right who seems most content when she’s being
deliberately, pathologically hateful. As such, she’s never boring,
even if she’s America’s most vile beast of burden. But if we must
evaluate the Cunt for All Seasons after the documentary Is It True
What They Say About Ann?
, we’d be inclined to conclude that she’s
just this side of dull. Filmmakers Patrick Wright and Elinor Burkett
have managed to tame Coulter’s wrath, which defeats the entire purpose
of suffering through her harangues. If Coulter doesn’t appear to be on
the verge of a nervous breakdown, she’s just another waif with an

For example, the film actually thinks we care that Coulter went to
Cornell and Michigan’s law school, or that she started as a corporate
attorney in New York City. Ain’t she just so “regular?” And her stint
in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1994, while starting her on the
path to popular extremity, is simply another biographical detail that
lacks any dramatic flair. But it was during that time when she used
Bill Clinton as a springboard for her career, as she would have toiled
in obscurity had the president not met with the Gingrich revolution.
Fine, no one really cares where this anorexic came from, and the film
makes it worse by forcing us to watch her in unguarded moments, as
when she’s getting her hair brushed or make-up applied. Needless to
say she’s yapping throughout (a moment of quiet reflection is as
impossible for her as keeping the contents of lunch from being
purged), but she’s so darn ordinary that I’d just as soon spend
fifteen minutes with the cameraman. Maybe I was wrong to think that
Coulter spent her free time skinning atheists or masturbating to
assorted images of Reagan decked out in Western wear, but is she
really this uninspired? Where’s the shot of a topless Ann shouting
obscenities while wandering glassy-eyed through Times Square? Or the
extended sequence where she tearfully reveals that her parents were
committed socialists and everything she’s done since is pathetic,
predictable, Freudian rebellion?

Unfortunately, the film has no real ambition other than to rehash old
clips, interview segments, and dull-as-dishwater book tours in order
to present a side of Ann that actually harms her image, despite the
fact that this is alleged to be a puff piece. Having been screened
during at least one conservative film festival this past year, Is It
True What They Say About Ann?
is the Right’s answer to Al Franken and
Michael Moore, only without the entertainment value, humor, or
insight. And my loathing of Coulter is beside the point: this is
simply poor filmmaking, as it randomly cuts and pans without direction
or purpose. If we are to love Ann simply because she doesn’t consume
the entrails of liberal judges, then perhaps she’s unworthy of a
filmed portrait. I mean really, this is your best case for her
humanity, that she’s only partially insane? That her gleeful support
of racial profiling and wars for oil are more acceptable because she
receives Easter baskets from her mummified parents?


And was she always this greasy and unkempt? I’ve never found Coulter
even remotely attractive, but without hours of preparation, she
maintains a just-woke-up look that never seems to improve, no matter
how many drinks and cigarettes she consumes throughout the day. We
never see her light up, of course, for she’d rather foster the belief
that she stays so defiantly thin through, I’m guessing, self-reliance
and discipline. And her long blond mane, long thought to intimidate
drooling men into puppy dog silence, actually undermines her
credibility. And given that she’s passed the magic 40-barrier
(depending on sources, she’s as young as 40 or as old as 45), it’s
even more pathetic that she clings so desperately to the crumbling
façade of a sex kitten. It’s telling that throughout this film,
Coulter is never seen with her impossibly long legs covered. That
might mean something if said gams had form and definition, but she
never did learn that the victims of Buchenwald weren’t looking for
whistles and come-hither stares.

In all, I’m glad that conservatives are starting to make more movies,
for they only help prove that art is best left to those with a sense
of style. And unless these folks can snap photos of torture, pain, and
unmitigated misery–not as documents for social change, but rather to
inspire mammoth erections–they have no clue what to do with the
tools of cinema. Only incompetent right-wingers could strip Ann
Coulter of her raison d’etre
and reduce her to a pathetic, whiny
dullard with a Karen Carpenter complex. We should be slapping our
foreheads with incredulity, not curling up for a long nap. Ann
exists–and thrives–because she covets negative publicity and endless
death threats; she’d panic if she thought she was suddenly
“acceptable.” So why attempt the transformation? And who on fucking
earth asked for nearly 100 minutes of bonus features, most of which
are pointless photographs and deleted scenes of even more endless
rambling? What, no grainy footage of a gang rape while visiting
Scalia’s compound? No surveillance of at least three of her sixteen
abortions during the 1980s? Nope, just yellowing images of her
Deadhead days and passion for the Ramones. Yawn.



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