June 15, 2012

More Than Puppy Love 2: A Better Film Than Winter’s Bone?

On Tuesday, I spoke with Mark Reardon on KMOX about Missouri’s film tax credit program. Though he agreed with me that it is pretty indefensible for taxpayers to subsidize hotel stays and large living allowances for well-paid actors and directors, Mark pointed to critically-acclaimed films that have received the credit (Winter’s Bone and Up in the Air) as examples of success.

Sure, Winter’s Bone received $260,000 under Missouri’s film tax credit program. And the film did receive great reviews. But the state actually paid more to the film More Than Puppy Love 2, the (apparent) sequel to More Than Puppy Love, a 2002 film that IMDB users panned. One wrote that “This just might be the worst movie ever made.”

I do not know what reviewers said about More Than Puppy Love 2, because I could not find any references to it. But I do know that state taxpayers paid more than $285,000 to have that movie made here in Missouri. I wonder if the puppy used in the film was counted as one of the “jobs” associated with the production of More Than Puppy Love 2There have been more dubious job claims made when justifying film tax credits.

If you love film, or anything else creative, the last thing you should want is for it to receive taxpayer funding. Some of the best works of art, films, and books are controversial — as they should be. Censorship and the funding of saccharine works begins when taxpayer dollars allow politicians and bureaucrats to get involved in deciding what is, and what is not, art.

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