Running short on super hero movies, Hollywood has decided to poke fun at Alzheimer’s Disease and former President Ronald Reagan.

Variety reports a soon-to-be-made movie produced by, and starring Will Ferrell, will begin “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.”

What an amazingly unfunny premise.


Ronald Reagan signs historic nuclear weapon treaty with Mikhail Gorbachev, 1987.

Let’s leave politics out of this and just ask ourselves whether millions of dollars could be better spent on Alzheimer’s research than making a historically inaccurate, and I’ll predict now, unfunny film about it?

Reagan’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis was not made until five years after he left the White House. Near the end of his presidency Reagan signed an historic nuclear weapon ban treaty with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. It eliminated all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges.

Hardly the act of a madman.

Today over 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. “Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy,” wrote Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis in an open letter to Ferrell.

fdr sick

Franklin Roosevelt lost the use of his legs when he contracted polio at age 39.

I suppose Ferrell could follow it up with a sequel about President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the wheelchair he used throughout his presidency. What was it like when he had to lift up his polio-ridden legs to get from his chair to the toilet during his meeting with Stalin? Think of how much laughter that can generate in two hours.

Today, over 1.2 million Americans have had a spinal cord injury, and over 5.6 million live with a form of paralysis. Maybe it would make Hollywood happy to make fun of them too?

Ferrell could finish his presidential trilogy as President John F. Kennedy who suffered from Addison’s disease. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy was taking steroids for his Addison’s; painkillers for his back; anti-spasmodics for his colitis; antibiotics for urinary-tract infections; antihistamines for allergies; and, on at least one occasion, an anti-psychotic for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines. Ferrell could play a drug crazed playboy president during a nuclear showdown.

jfk sick

John F. Kennedy suffered from a variety of health problems including Addison’s disease.

Another potential Hollywood hoot.

Sadly, millions of Americans suffer from a variety of the ailments that afflicted Kennedy throughout his life. I doubt many would find poking fun at his health as overly amusing.

In fact, none of these films are a good idea. Our presidents are human beings and it is best to study their lives and careers by reading books or watching the many finely produced documentaries each year.

Ferrell, who played an amusing President George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live, should stick to satire.

Do the right thing here. Avoid making a cruel movie, based on a real disease, that causes so much pain in America and around the world.

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