"You kill yourself, Frank, and you're killing the wrong person, which would be a shame when there are so many other Chloes out there who need to die." — God Bless America
Writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait (a former stand-up comedian), whose debut behind the camera was Shakes the Clown (1991) about an alcoholic clown, has presented his latest directorial effort God Bless America (2011), screened first at TIFF. It's now in limited theatrical release in U.S. After World's Greatest Dad (2009), starring Robin Williams as a high school teacher who uses his son's death to gain fame, Goldthwait has consolidated his name as one of the most promising 'black comedy' directors, in the same league as Terry Zwigoff, Todd Solondz, and Alexander Payne. Another blunt example of his skills as sardonic social commentator is shown clearly in God Bless America, which Goldthwait calls "a violent movie about kindness," starring Joel Murray (Mad Men, Dharma and Greg) and newcomer Tara Lynne Barr (who played Sunshine Girl in the horror short Road Kill in 2005).
Frank (Joel Murray) is a resented divorcée whose life is patently miserable due to frequent migraines and drone work in an office cubicle, besides an antagonistic relationship with ex-wife Alison (Melinda Page Hamilton, who starred in Sleeping Dogs Lie directed by Goldthwait in 2006) and spoiled daughter Ava (Mackenzie Brooke Smith). The icing on the cake is when Frank (an insomniac who puts up with impolite neighbours and their screaming baby) gets fired from his job after being accused by a female receptionist--whom he's just lent the parody novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies--of harassment. Almost immediately, he also discovers he suffers from an inoperable brain tumor.
Finding himself trapped in an existential dead end, Frank is prepared to commit suicide while he's surfing through reality TV shows. He's horrified as he contemplates teenage tyrant Chloe (Maddie Hasson) on-screen, who he recognizes as one of the toxic role models responsible of causing his daughter Ava's disturbed behaviour. Enraged, Frank visits next morning Chloe's school and executes the girl right away, with only a witness: a conflicted 16-year-old student named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr).
Roxy, intrigued and with a possible crush on Frank, knocks on his door at a nearby motel. She convinces him of being his "partner-in-crime" on his mission to rid the world of all the entitled media stars and more broadly, people who are not nice. Frank reluctantly agrees to allow her to accompany him. As a pair of "platonic spree killers", they hit the road in a stolen car around the country, choosing as targets Tea Party members, the Westboro Baptist Church, Bill O'Reilly / Glenn Beck surrogates and rude people who turn on their cellulars in movie theaters.