Alice's Restaurant

Director: Arthur Penn
Year Released: 1969
Rating: 1.0

Self-indulgent trifle from Arthur Penn about Arlo Guthrie's ballad about avoiding the draft during the Vietnam War; if anyone considers this an 'anti-war' film, he or she needs to go to the video store and watch Hearts and Minds. Figuring even stronger is how I saw Pink Floyd – The Wall just a few days ago, and the two are more alike than you'd think: popular musician is loved by every woman he sees, admired by every man he meets, and is a constant problem for 'authority figures.' Both also have one emotion: Pink is psychotically distraught, Guthrie is whimsically indifferent, and both rebuff numerous sexual advances (though Guthrie eventually settles down with an Asian girl). It is neither humorous nor particularly convincing; in retrospect, the Vietnam War's sole effect on Americans was to allow them to act like flippant, garish, hedonistic lowlives, or so the cinema suggests.