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Hollywood's Al Gore Love-In Heats Up

By Jason Apuzzo & Govindini Murty
July 20, 2006

He seemed to be going away. Al Gore's little $1 million enviro-documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" never made it into more than 600 theaters, and in its seventh week of release the film seemed to be fading from memory.

But with a total box-office haul of almost $17 million, and with the film slowly advancing to the No. 3 all-time box-office spot for documentaries, the Al Gore story is one Hollywood apparently can't get enough of.

And so now we're treated this week to an enormous, front-cover puff-piece by Entertainment Weekly . . . and Gore's film suddenly has new life, and an Oscar nod seems likely to follow.

To say the stops have been pulled out in Hollywood for Mr. Gore's film would be an understatement.

The entertainment press has been doing everything it can to promote Gore's film as a phenomenon, even as a cross-over hit. (We're breathlessly told in the Entertainment Weekly piece that "even evangelicals, never a big part of Gore's base, have been rallying behind the cause.") In fact, the entertainment press's constant boostering is probably responsible for this otherwise dreary film having the success it's had.

But in a sense, who are we to complain? We certainly prefer Al Gore as a star of documentary films rather than as an occupant of the Oval Office. Better that Gore shake hands with Denise Richards at premieres than with, say, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the White House.

At the same time, it alarms us (and, we hope, others) that the previously cordial relationship between Hollywood and the Democratic Party has turned into such a hot, steamy, monogamous romance. And is it quaint or old-fashioned of us to suggest this romance is neither healthy for the cinema nor for democracy? Yes, we suppose it is quaint and old-fashioned.

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