Lots of people get their political news from comedians these days, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Saturday Night Live. I happen to be a Stewart fan myself. What if a glitch in the voting system gave Jon Stewart the presidency? Would chaos ensue or would it be much-needed kick in the pants? That’s just one obvious question that never gets answered in this film, but there were plenty of others.
Robin Williams plays the comedian Tom Dobbs and does a good job with the humor. When he decides to actually hit the campaign trail he drops the jokes, sticks to issues and the movie starts to become something like a drama. Laura Linney is an employee of the computer company handling all the voting in the country and she finds a surprising glitch in the system. She alerts the CEO who promptly ignores her. Dobbs is elected Linney’s character is drugged and fired so she has no credibility and the film then turns into more of a conspiracy thriller than a comedy or a drama.
The movie was a bust for me. Some parts were good but the stupidity of Linney’s character was hard to watch. And once Williams wasn’t cracking jokes he became about as interesting as last week’s newspaper.
The movie did halfheartedly attempt to tackle some real issues. The most compelling part of the movie for me was Jeff Goldblum’s speech about the people thinking their vote counted was more important than their vote really being counted. It didn’t matter if the right guy got the job.
“Perception of legitimacy is more important than legitimacy itself. That’s the greater truth.”
No matter where you come down on this it still generates good discussion. Once Williams gets the nomination he and Linney both have to make a choice on whether he should keep quiet and accept the honor of being the president of the United States. I thought this was also an interesting dilemma and one Jason and I didn’t quite see the same way.
The humor and the thought-provoking situations had potential but the movie was too scattered to be good.
Any political movie recommendations for next week?