Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.
Political movies are a rare breed in the current film culture. Some of its understandable since consumers get more than their fill of political shenanigans from the 24 news-cycle and the never-ending internet updates – hell, in the time that I wrote this post, I got 50 emails from the two presidential candidates and their political action committees. It, therefore, makes sense that the film industry would be hesitant to put up good money to entice people to come watch something fictional that could never measure up to reality.
Making a political comedy does sound like it would be relatively easy to do especially since everything in today’s politics is so over-the-top. Hell, one could do a whole movie about this 40-year moron who called a conservative radio show about how he thought President Obama was a liar because no one could recover from a gunshot wound like the one described by the President in the second presidential debate – the man was literally crying during the call! However, as that all knowing “anonymous” said at that unknown time, drama is easy but comedy is hard and nothing proves that more than the latest Will Ferrell – Zach Galifianakis movie – and alleged comedy – The Campaign. The only way that movie could have sucked more is if it had starred Nicolas Cage.
I honestly was a little surprised at its suck-age factor since Galif… (I’m not spelling his full name anymore) can be a pretty funny guy – watch Between Two Ferns on Funny or Die sometime – and Jay Roach is a pretty decent comedy director. I think this movie was consumed by the Will Ferrell aesthetic which mandates that individual scenes be funny but have no connection to one another. Consequently, this movie is a series of skits loosely coming together –and I mean an obese person losing a lot of weight so he has a lot of fat skin hanging off him loosely.
If anyone is interested in a good funny realistic comedy movie, I’d recommend The Candidate. As should be the case with any good movie, you should go into it blind so I won’t say anything about the plot except that it’s about an idealist who is recruited to become a political candidate. It’s a great movie, funny, sharp, realistic movie with a story that not only makes sense but is quite prescient. Plus, it has one of the great last lines in any movie.