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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> November 2000 >> Roger & Me

Roger & Me

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
November 2000
IMDB Name:
Roger & Me (1989)
Michael Moore
MPAA Rating:

Misfortune 500

At some level, Roger & Me is supposed to be funny. The blustering of General Motors executives and Flint's unsuccessful attempt to revitalize itself are somewhat amusing. The humor, though, is overshadowed by the cold, hard reality of what happened to Flint when it lost its largest employer, and the possibility that the same thing might happen to the city I now call home. If Xerox, Kodak, and Bausch & Lomb all tank, how will Rochester pull itself through? My enjoyment was also mitigated by having seen my father laid off in the early 1980's. Roger & Me definitely strikes a chord, but not a happy one.

Michael Moore crystallized the plight of Flint in a well-crafted ninety minutes. He is clearly not afraid of celebrity retribution, as evidenced by his treatment of Bob Eubanks and Pat Boone. His folksiness and forthrightness occasionally seem counterproductive, as when trying to get on Roger Smith's schedule in the lobby. The rest of the time, the movie would be lifeless without Moore's snickering asides. The end result sends the right message, but there may no longer be anyone listening.


In the closing credits, there is a line saying that the movie can't be shown in Flint because the theaters have closed. I checked, and there are once again some theaters there. I don't know how far Flint has come in the eleven years since Moore was filming, but this is surely a sign of some recovery.

Copyright 2000-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.