Finally saw SiCkO, the latest Michael Moore documentary (this one's marketed as a "comedy") last night, and was going to write something acerbic, questioning the validity of the film, asking what Moore's intentions were, since he uncovered nothing new or even remotely interesting in the film, and accomplished little other than demeaning his audience by implying that they have (and he has) no idea that universal health care exists in other parts of the world. To me, he's become like a ridiculous FM DJ preaching the "new sounds" of the 80s or some bullshit like that. But then I read the New Yorker's review here, and realized David Denby had already written my thoughts for me, much more intelligently than I could've written myself:
"After the early tales of the system’s failure, “Sicko” becomes feeble, even inane. A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans not only favor a national health service but are willing to pay higher taxes for it. In that case, wouldn’t it have made sense for Moore to find out what features of universal care in other countries could be adapted to America? Instead of sorting through any of this, Moore and his crew go from place to place—to Canada, England, and France, as well as Cuba—and, at every stop, he pulls the same silly stunt of pretending to be astonished that health care is free. How much do people pay here in France? Nothing? You’ve got to be kidding. But isn’t everyone taxed to death to pay for health care? Well, here’s a nice, two-income French couple who have a great apartment and collect sand from the deserts of the world. Not only haven’t they been impoverished by taxation; they travel. And so on.
"And since he doesn’t interview any of the countless Americans who have been mulling over ways to reform our system, we’re supposed to come away from “Sicko” believing that sane thinking on these issues is unknown here. In the actual political world, the major Democratic Presidential candidates have already offered, or will soon offer, plans for reform. A shift to the left, or, at least, to the center, has overtaken Michael Moore, yielding an irony more striking than any he turns up: the changes in political consciousness that Moore himself has helped produce have rendered his latest film almost superfluous."