Rating : ****
Let me tell you something about me. I love political dramas and political comedies. I love Politics. I also love Robin Williams, Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum.
Therefore a political comedy, drama film that see’s Robin Williams playing a talk show host on a political/comedy show (think Jon Stewart) who decides after a offhand comment from a audience member to run for president with the help of his manager played by Christopher Walken is right up my street.
Added to that a intriguing plot with a kind of evil Jeff Goldblum and I’m sold. I just wonder how it took nearly 10 years for me to hear of the movie.
It was just as good as I could ever have imagined as well.
I wouldn’t say it was much of a comedy film though it is much more dramatic then I thought it would be. The comedy comes from Williams character Tom Dobbs BEING a comedian. The actual story itself is extremely serious and downright emotional.
Personally I found myself looking at Eleanor Green (played by Laura Linney) to be more of the main character as the whole plot point of the presidential race for Dobbs ends in the first quarter of the movie and the inaccuracy of the machines used to cast the votes and the attempt at any means necessary to shut Green up became a bigger focus.
I enjoyed the movie much more because of what it had to say about politics then I did for the story. The story itself is actually pretty disjointed and over the top. Instead of normal people doing normal things Jeff Goldblum’s character Stewart, the head of Delacroy decides to first drug Green in her house to make her look bad then by the end not only has people follow her and pays off other people in her department to clean their hands of it all but tries to have her run over! Yet they never bothered after firing her to delete her off their system meaning half way through the episode you’ll find her in their system trying to figure out what went wrong.
I think the funniest moment that proved the story was just not there was when Stewart asked Eleanor why she had bothered to double check the system.
I mean REALLY? Why would someone try and check a system that is about to be used to elect your next president to make sure there isn’t bugs?
Then they ask her what the point was because they wouldn’t be able to find out the problem in time for the election, she told them a good week or month or so before the election and they did nothing SHE FOUND THE ANSWER AFTER A FEW HOURS IN A MOTEL ROOM!
It was bizarre.
You only realise that after thinking about it though. I loved the movie and will recommend it to anyone because the story doesn’t really matter. Its a love story. Honestly it is. Dobbs has his family who are basically his production team and he goes into the presidential race knowing he hasn’t got a chance so becomes the voice of the dissatisfied population. He brings up great points like how people feel all political parties sound and act the same and so people don’t know who to vote for because you are basically voting for the same monster with different faces. I’m English and we’ve just came out of a general election where this really did ring true for me.
It was pointed out going into the debates though that all the others had wives and families and Dobbs didn’t.
Maybe Eleanor wouldn’t have cared so much about checking systems if she had a family to go home too.
The two seemed pretty lonely in their own ways and after the election came back with Dobbs winning Eleanor has to find him and tell him that he hasn’t and that the company is hiding this fact. They fall in love pretty much at first sight and it makes the struggle of doing what is right quite sweet. You feel for both of them as she is dragged through the mud and he has to fight what he thinks is right and what he knows is right.
The two end up together and that is probably the best part of the movie other then everything that has Christopher Walken in it and Jeff Goldblum’s bitch face when having his mug shot taken at the end.
So let me reiterate.
Yes it isn’t as funny as you might think it is. The comedy moments are genuine COMEDY moments as in they are part of stand up routines or TV shows as the character Dobbs is a comedian. This means that when the comedy does start it feels like you are just watching Williams doing his own routine.
You might think that is a negative but it isn’t because it works in the movie.
Yes the story isn’t brilliant but you just don’t see that till afterwards when you try and explain it. Really watch the film then try to explain what happens and you sound crazy.
What the movie does well is it entertains you. It has a sweet love story. It does do funny but in its own way. It actually speaks about the issues a lot of people have with politics in the modern world. It kind of gives you hope. It makes you happy. It has a feel good feeling when you are around Dobbs and his entourage even when bad things happen to them and it ends on a high note. It gives the viewer something to think about when it comes to politics as well as giving us a very different love story because it isn’t a sexual attraction thing and it isn’t all about sex and it isn’t about two pretty people falling in love. They just fall in love like most people do.
OK so this is going to sound cheesy as hell but I think I liked the movie most because it was just a film about people. Real people. Yeah the story went a bit wild and the premise was wild to begin with but the characters that they created were just normal people.
I like that.
Its understated and its fun and I think it works that way. It is now one of my all time favourite Robin Williams films and that is saying something.
Christopher Walken rocked but he always does that too!