In any other context, hearing this title and relating it back to Donald Trump’s autobiography of the same name would be simply vomit-inducing. In fact, it would probably make the list of Top Ten Things I will Never Care To Watch, just behind every movie in the Twilight saga and Sharknado.
But then, when one realizes that this is a faux film and the producer of this movie is the comedy website, Funny or Die, this changes things.
Only one thing could further change the situation: if an eccentric actor such as, say, Johnny Depp, were cast to impersonate the pompous, arrogant Mr. Trump. The thing is, he was.
Now I’m interested. Now I’m intrigued.
The 50-minute faux film released last Wednesday opens with Hollywood director Ron Howard (playing himself) explaining the disappearance of the movie after the “Cybill Shepherd Blouse Fire of 1989” and its rediscovery decades later at a garage sale outside of Phoenix.
Howard emphasizes that the film is directed, written and produced by Trump himself, in addition to Trump casting himself as the lead character, all before putting the vintage VHS tape into a 1980’s TV set.
The attention is then directed to the screen within the screen, complete with a fitting 1980’s montage and graphics (and later, a catchy theme song).
Trump’s movie begins with the telling of his childhood fascination with the Taj Mahal— “the classiest thing ever built by a Muslim”—a fascination which led to his adult desire of buying and redesigning the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, owned by Merv Griffin (played by Patton Oswalt).
The plot develops as a young boy steals one of Trump’s best selling autobiographies—“the second best-selling book of all time next to The Bible and that took 12 guys to write” as Trump (Depp) boasted—from a stand inside Trump Tower, outrunning a security guard and finding himself in the office of Trump himself.
Trump takes the opportunity to teach his young prodigy of the rules (called Trump cards) of being Donald Trump, including but not limited to, Using Your Leverage, Get the Word Out!, and Fight Back and Maximize Your Options. All of these life lessons woven between the chapters of Trump’s book such as Chapters Two, “The Art of Defeating Totally Bogus Discrimination Laws” and Chapter Five,“The Art of Marrying a Gorgeous Immigrant.”
The short spoof is filled with cracks and digs, some more sly than others, yet each as satisfying—and sometimes disgusting— to an anti-Trump viewer as the one before it:
Trump turns away his young admirer after discovering his name to be José, then proceeds to turn away José’s Japanese replacement, and the black replacement after him, finally being content with a white (most likely middle class) boy yearning to seek his knowledge.
He is repeatedly mentioned in the same sentence as Adolf Hitler, referencing those on his business team as Nazis.
Trump degrades his female secretary, tailor and even his wife Ivana (played by actress Michaela Watkins) with the sexist and crude demeanor he is known for.
There is even a brief mention of Trump’s agenda for the day, which includes no longer being a registered Democrat.
By the end of the movie, Christopher Lloyd makes a cameo Back to the Future appearance, introducing 2016 President Trump (complete with a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap) to the 1986 Trump, advising him to claim the @donaldtrump handle when Twitter is invented in the future.
Despite the excitement I felt with the Back to the Future reference, it should be noted that I also cringed inside just thinking about Trump as president, so needless to say seeing him “in person” on a screen in front of me made me more or less physically ill.
Funny or Die succeeded in its intention to infuse humor and irrationality—well, even more than is already present— into the upcoming 2016 presidential election. However, the biggest take away is that the movie is just as big of a joke as the Republican candidate’s platform as a whole.
As the saying goes, all jokes have a hint of truth, and this faux film is no exception.
Featured Photo Credit: A screenshot taken from Funny or Die.
Jordan Stovka is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.