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Movie Reviews with Karl: Accidental Insurgent

Movie Reviews with Karl: Accidental Insurgent

Karl Taro Greenfeld reviews movies without seeing them. He watches trailers, or parts of the trailers. (If the movie is a sequel, he has not seen any earlier films in the series. He basically doesn’t watch any movies. Any plot similarities between his reviews and the actual movies are coincidental.)

Accidental Love

Starring Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Brolin, Tracy Morgan, Catherine Keneer, and Bill Hader

During the waning years of the Bush administration, Jessica Biel is a carhop in love with the local sheriff, who proposes to her in a restaurant with structural issues. Moments after saying “I do,” a roofer falls through the ceiling with a nail gun in his hand, driving a nail into Biel’s skull. She is rushed to the emergency room, where just as doctors are about to remove the spike, an administrator rushes in and orders a halt to the surgery. “She doesn’t have health insurance!”

Biel is left with the nail lodged in her brain, which doctors explain to her will result in violent mood swings and highly inappropriate sexual behavior. Biel attempts to return to work, but she is moody and difficult, and eventually fired by her boss, Tracy Morgan. Her fiancé also dumps her, citing the nail in the head as a deal breaker. Desperate for medical care, Biel travels to Washington and confronts her cynical congressman, Jake Gyllenhaal, asking why she must live with this disability, and gradually rising to the greater question: Why doesn’t American have a system of national health insurance?

It is during one of Biel’s unseemly erotic moods that she and Jake Gyllenhaal fall in love. Gyllenhaal, inspired, now sees that Biel is just one of millions of Americans who are suffering from inadequate health care, and vows to craft a bill delivering affordable health insurance to every American. Biel and Gyllenhaal collaborate on this legislation, which is passed through the House of Representatives presided over by Catherine Keener, and America gets a single-payer National Health Insurance system similar to Canada’s.

However, even though Jessica Biel can now have the nail removed for the mere price of a co-pay, she decides to forego any surgery because Jake Gyllenhaal loves her exactly the way she is.

Accidental Love sheds light on the little known and infrequently discussed mechanics of how the Affordable Care Act was passed into law by Congress.


Starring Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz and Mehki Phifer

In the future, everyone lives in Chicago, where they are assorted at birth into different personality types, like Dauntless for the Brave or Empathetic for the Kind, and each faction, as they are called, shops at American Apparel but can only buy one color palette. If you want to mix colors, then you are what they call Divergent, which means you don’t fit in to the system and Kate Winslet, the Mike Krzyzewski of this future Chicago, will have to exterminate you because she wants everyone to be matchy-matchy.

Well, Shailene Woodley will wear whatever she damn well pleases, and she and Theo James flee this modern Chicago and form a partisan band that lives in the woods, hunted by Kate Winslet’s armored cars of conformity. Shailene and her partisans soon discover another rebel band, the Factionless, and they join to form a super rebel group, and hijack a train, ride it into Chicago, and there attempt mix and match colors and patterns with abandon. But they have walked into a trap, and Kate Winslet’s minions succeed in capturing Shailene Woodley, and attach electrodes all over her body.  Kate Winslet’s plan is to clone Shailene Woodley, and have her fight herself to the death in a glass cube, killing not only the original Shailene Woodley, but also the desire to mix earth tones and kicky bright colors.  But the Shailene Woodley clone merges with the original Shailene Woodley, to create an even more fashion forward Shailene Woodley, who breaks out of the glass cube and kills Kate Winslet, freeing the people of Chicago to wear any outfits they like.

Insurgent is an important film in that it points out the perils of government overreach.

Karl Taro Greenfeld
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About The Author

Karl Taro Greenfeld

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of eight books, including the novel The Subprimes, to be published in May. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories (2009, 2013) and O. Henry Prize Stories (2012). Follow him @karltaro.

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