Will Ferrell mines laughs out of Alzheimer’s in a forthcoming film about Ronald Reagan.
The Telegraph describes the project as “a new comedy about Reagan’s second term in office – a period during which the head of state suffered from Alzheimer's.” But Reagan did not suffer from Alzheimer’s during his presidency. His diagnosis came more than five years after he left office, and the numerous doctors tending to him in the White House uniformly reported their patient did not exhibit symptoms as president. The film, which seeks laughs as a secondary purpose, has already achieved its primary purpose — to create an impression that dementia ruled the man who ruled in the free world — before even reaching the silver screen.
Politics blinds Ferrell into mistaking bad taste for a good laugh. It also deludes him into equating the laughter generated from ideological solidarity with that generated from genuine humor.
Will Ferrell is funny. This isn’t.
Ideology is a lot like any number of deadly diseases. Once it takes over, it kills it unless aggressively treated.