“Penned by Mike Rosolio, the story begins at the start of the then-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.” – Variety
“I saw the news bulletin — as did everyone — that you intend to portray my father in the throes of Alzheimer’s for a comedy that you are also producing. Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia. Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.” – Patti Davis, in Open Letter to Will Ferrell
Hollywood is famous for taking oafs, clowns and unintelligent people and poking fun at them. Perhaps we laugh our gallows humor laughs, thinking “there by the grace of God go I.” But dementia? That’s out of bounds.
Will Ferrell’s movie may never be made, some say, due to the firestorm of protest the concept has already created. Let’s hope the soothsayers are right: Alzheimer’s is not comedy and to make it so for a movie, especially one about a real person, is without any redeeming value whatsoever. What’s next, Mr. Ferrell? The hi-jinks of a cancer ward or accident victims dying in the E. R. on a Saturday night?
In her open letter, Davis writes, “Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind.” Mr Ferrell, what do you find funny about this?
I hope you’re better than this, Will Ferrell, but I’m beginning to have my doubts.
UPDATE: (April 29, 2016) Will Ferrell Walks Away From Controversial Reagan Project