Former host of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart, has written and directed a new movie dealing with the way in which the country handles elections.
It is a comedy starring Steve Carell and it focuses in on a mayoral race in a small Wisconsin town that draws the attention of Washington, D.C. insider/campaign manager Gary Zimmer (Carell). Gary brings his political techniques to the town in an attempt to get Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) elected as a new style of Democrat.
His attempts to rebrand the election is noticed by Republican strategist and campaign manager Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), who immediately sets up opposite Gary in an attempt to stop him from winning the election.
This is a political satire that is hardly subtle. It has a message and it is hammering that message home throughout the movie. I can see this being fairly polarizing of a film despite the fact that the film does not specifically pick a side. It presents the system as problematic, not necessarily the parties.
Steve Carell is fine here, but none of the characters involved in this movie are really very deep. They are surface level characters without a lot of deep motivations. Again, he is speaking against the entire political structure, especially the involvement of money in the system.
There were some funny moments, but I do not think that there was enough big time laughs to help out the film. The portrayal of the media is another shot that the film takes and they are equally handled.
The ending is difficult to accept and, although it is legally possible, it is hard to buy the actual situation playing out as it does.
I do love Jon Stewart, but this was not to the level I had expected.