Cards on the table, I'm not much of a political mind. I know who I side with, I know who I vote for, but to discuss it with anyone always ends up being a terrible experience. I couldn't agree with Linus of 'Peanuts' fame more when he says "There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." Pumpkin aside, that's just a great tidbit of advice. It's just an argument that's gonna upset everyone, waiting to happen... Sometimes though, we have to.
However, while I may NOT be the best person to review a movie like this, I'll give it a whirl. I wanted to check it out based on the fact that it was written and directed by Jon Stewart. I'm not what you'd call a super fan, but I do appreciate what he has to say, often able to bring it down to my level so I can understand things a little better. This is why we don't see a lot of political thrillers on any of my review lists, but besides that, his perspective was something I felt would translate well to screen for a guy like me. On top of that, this was a comedy, so maybe it could be a little more up my alley.
Our story involves (fictional) Democratic campaigner, Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell), who represented Hilary Clinton in the big election of 2016. After the results of an election he thought for sure was in the bag, he's left a bit desperate. He's soon shown a YouTube video, however, of Marine Colonel, Jack Hastings, shown standing up for undocumented immigrants who reside in his small, right-leaning hometown of Deerlaken, Wisconsin.
Upon viewing the video, Zimmer is convinced that he can convince Americans of the heartland to vote Democratic in the next election by running Hastings as Democratic Mayoral candidate for Deerlaken. However, getting in his way is the conservative population of the town, as well as his opponent, Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), who is pulling out all the stops for the repeated Mayor Braun (Brent Sexton). Can Zimmer, with the help of Hasting's daughter, Diana (Mackenzie Davis) convince a conservative town to start voting Democrat?
When all said and done, as expected, Stewart's writing actually worked for me here. I pretty much got what was going on, and actually enjoyed the film for what it was. Without spoiling anything, there is an interesting twist with, what I think, is a great message to give to the world. Unfortunately, that message is perhaps a little bit oversimplified. Seeing a lot of disappointment with this title in its average ratings, I get the feeling the reasons lie somewhere between that oversimplification, and personal politics, which will always be a thing when it comes to a movie like this.
I thought it was decent, myself, and I appreciated what the final message was. Even if it does come across as too simple, it's something I personally feel we kinda need right now with everything happening in the world. Take a look for yourself and see what you think though. You'll get some laughs along the way, especially if you're a fan of Carell and/or Stewart. Much like the way it works with politics, I have my opinion on this one, and it's obvious to me that not everyone will agree. If nothing else, it's a pretty light comedy to watch in such a dark time.
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