||"An American Carol" is that rare bird, a conservative Hollywood comedy, and a very self-conscious one it is, too...Since director and co-writer David Zucker once upon a time gave us "Airplane!" and the "Naked Gun" movies (and who has more recently busied himself with the "Scary Movie" franchise), you expect at least some smart, ribald slapstick aimed at the left's sacred cows. It's there, but the targets are bigger and lazier than they ought to be, and the lectures are nonstop...At its loosest and goofiest, "An American Carol" tosses high-spirited cherry bombs against perceived liberal sins: The Leni Riefenstahl documentary award ceremony is a hoot, and the attack of the ACLU zombie attorneys is funny no matter what side you're on. The bit where Robert Davi's Islamic terrorist removes his fake beard to reveal a real beard is a classic throwaway Zucker sight gag. At such points you wonder if America's real enemies - without and within - are those who can't take a joke...The cream of conservative Hollywood turns up in small roles, from Dennis Hopper as a judge to Leslie Nielsen as the foxy Grandpa narrating the tale. You sense it's a relief for some of them to come out of the closet...Ultimately, the problem with "An American Carol" is the problem with far too much political discourse in this country, left or right: It highlights the worst excesses of the opposition for the sole purpose of discrediting the vast middle. As cartoons go, it's a not unwelcome change from pious, unexamined Hollywood platitudes (as opposed to the tough field work done in some recent documentaries). You could argue, of course, that a cartoon is the last thing we need at the moment.