Monday, October 20, 2008

Reviewlet: Man of the Year

Sometimes movies surprise you.
Movies that you hate as insipid drivel somehow pull it together in the closing scenes of the last act.

I can't think of a complete list off the top of my head.

Skeleton key was definitely one. (pap. airplane fodder. drivel.) But the last 10 minutes made it all worthwhile. the first 90 were all there to lower expectations.

Deterrence is another. Which is also all the pap and drivel except for the end of the last act, which not only excuses the rest of the movie but at least partially justifies the earlier crappiness. (domino and contender and matchstick men and euro trip have this quality to a lesser extent)

Man of the year is certainly another.

I spent the first hour not just thinking it was bad (despite its impressive cast), but actively hating it, at how it glorifies the mockery of the political system, taking cheap and dumb shots. The premise--amusing given Al Franken's true story--is that a comedian in the style of Bill Mahr or Jon Steawrt, but played by Robin Williams, decides to run for president. And while commercials had led me to expect something that glorified the everyman as president (like Bullworth or Dave) and while i'm fine with that concept, this movie made the premise of Robin Williams as president both disgraceful and disgusting.

And so i was actively hating it, handling e-mails, playing with my phone, until I realized, that the disgust was intentional. That everything I hated about it was intentional. That explained how they managed to attract such a stellar cast (laura linney, christopher walken, and tons of cameos from news anchors and comedians from chris mathews to tina fey).

So at the end, still not a great movie, but I respect it.

Final Grade:
B-
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