“Irresistible” (M) ***
I CAME away from Jon Stewart’s no-holds-barred comedy grateful for Pol. Sci. 1 all those years ago. How well will a movie satirising American politics as Deerlaken, Wisconsin, prepares to elect a new mayor, go down in Oz?
The 2016 presidential election has just gone Republican. Stewart’s film takes us to the brink of a ballot that we expect will elect Democrat candidate Hastings (Chris Cooper). Running the party machine in Deerlaken during the campaign is consultant Zimmer (Steve Carell).
It would be hard to find two more different guys chasing the same outcome for what should be the same reason.
Retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel, Hastings is now a farmer who at a Deerlaken town-council meeting accused the mayor of screwing over the local immigrant community.
Taking one look at him, Zimmer sees a heartland conservative with the soul of a liberal – “a church-going Bernie Sanders with better bone density”. So he convinces Hastings – a guy as Trump Country as you can get – to run for mayor and marshals major party resources to back him, all with the hope of turning the national spotlight on a new brand of Democratic winner.
The film is a gleeful, jocular look at the twin demons of money and packaging setting about killing electoral democracy. The humour is serious. The denouement embodies surprised optimism.
As “Variety” put it: “The film is a lot like a politician: it makes a big show of leading the viewer, but without rocking the boat”.
At all cinemas