Cal Poly students will get a sneak peek tonight of Universal Pictures’ latest comedy “American Dreamz.” From the makers of smash hit American Pie and the lesser-known Brit flick About A Boy, director Paul Weitz’s newest spoof on pop culture takes center stage for ASI Event’s private screening at Downtown Centre Cinema, starting at 8 p.m.

Although tickets for the free showing have already run out, staff at the Cal Poly Epicenter said limited seating will still be available.

“If you still want to see (the movie), it’s first-come-first-serve seating for people with tickets,” said Grant Zanini, student manager of ASI Events. “Then after that, if there’s still room, we’ll just let people in for free.”

Featuring an all-star cast including Hugh Grant, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid and Wilem Defoe, “American Dreamz” is a fictional tale of money, politics and Hollywood sleaze. The film is said to mock the world’s current obsession with reality television and pop-icons, a la Fox’s epic hit, “American Idol.”

According to a plot synopsis posted on the movie’s Web site,, “America just can’t seem to get enough of ‘American Dreamz,’ hosted by self-aggrandizing, self-loathing Martin Tweed (Hugh Grant), ever on the lookout for the next insta-celebrity. Tired of the same boring guests season after season, Tweed decides to up this year’s ante by recruiting a crop of bizarre hopefuls.”

These starry-eyed wannabe’s include pop star Mandy Moore as Sally, “a conniving steel magnolia with a devoted, dopey veteran boyfriend (Chris Klein) and fame-obsessed ‘momager’ Martha (Jennifer Coolidge),” and Sam Golzari as Omer, “a recent immigrant and bumbling, show-tune singing/would-be terrorist awaiting activation,” along with many more scene-stealing cameos from some of today’s leading actors and actresses.

At the same time, the movie follows fictional American President Joe Stanton (Dennis Quaid) during a most unusual day at the White House. The storyline is such that on the morning of his reelection, Stanton decides to read the newspaper for the first time in his four-year run as President.

“Holed up in pajamas in his bedroom, the President begins obsessively reading and reexamining his formerly black-and-white view of the world, shocked at what he is discovering,” the Web site said.

Weary of the President’s apparent meltdown and equally dismal approval ratings, the Chief of Staff (Wilem Defoe) decides to book him as a guest judge on the popular reality television show “American Dreams.”

Apparently, the movie has already created quite a buzz among movie-goers and students, junior Helena Levin, a Cal Poly Child Development major and avid Hugh Grant fan, said.

“Hugh Grant told me and the rest of the world in Vanity Fair last month that he was retiring from acting, but au contraire my friends. Here he is – and I get to see him,” Levin said. “And that’s my American dream – that he acts until he’s fat and bald.”

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