Vice, director Adam McKay’s recent biopic of Dick Cheney, has gotten mixed reviews here at Slate. Dana Stevens called it “busy yet curiously insubstantial.” Fred Kaplan wrote that it failed as comedy and history. Sam Adams compared the film’s post-credits scene to “raw sewage.” And in the annual Movie Club, Bilge Ebiri called it “the biggest disappointment of the year for me.” Worst of all, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave the film a Golden Globe. But critics must now begrudgingly admit that, whatever Vice’s vices were as a work of art, it was devastatingly effective as a work of political propaganda: People reports that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump walked out of the movie.
In the tradition of the protestors who interrupted Kirstjen Nielsen’s dinner, the restaurateur who refused to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the Mezcal bar customer who called Stephen Miller a fascist, McKay’s film has inarguably accomplished what so many critics of the Trump administration—and critics of McKay’s movie—have not: made life measurably worse for someone in the president’s inner circle. According to People, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump went for a night out at a West Palm Beach movie theater around Christmastime, where they unaccountably decided to watch an Adam McKay film about Dick Cheney. If you’re unclear on why Vice wouldn’t necessarily be fun viewing for the daughter and son-in-law (and senior advisers) of Donald Trump, take another look at the trailer—Jared and Ivanka clearly didn’t:
Trump and Kushner abruptly left before the film was finished, although according to Vanity Fair, they made it most of the way through the movie before walking out. It’s not 100 percent certain that they left because of Vice’s critique of Republican greed and stupidity, and not, say, a sudden burning desire to go back to Mar-a-Lago and work on the Middle East peace process, but let’s be honest: There’s no way they were enjoying the movie. America owes a debt of gratitude to whoever suggested to the couple that Vice would be a good time. And America owes a debt of gratitude to Adam McKay.