Man of the Year  

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Man of the Year, 2006

You should know
There are certain actor/comedians that I only like in small doses, if at all. Adam Sandler is best when he isn’t writing the script. Will Ferrell is more tolerable when he’s the straight man. And Robin Williams is most enjoyable when he stays in character, and when that character is not Robin Williams.

There are nitpicks. Oh, there are nitpicks. Some of them are spoilers, so they can wait.

Williams essentially plays Jon Stewart, which would be great in a universe where Jon Stewart doesn’t exist. But he does; William’s Dobbs cites Stewart more than once, in fact. If we’re supposed to believe that Dobbs is different and edgy, we shouldn’t be asked to accept that another player exactly like him already exists.

And, as I’m sure you’ve heard, the movie can’t seem to decide what genre it is. Comedy? Sure! Thriller? Why not? Romance? Well, you can’t have a movie without a romance.

And I really think it’s possible to have a movie hit on all three. But this isn’t that movie. It feels like three movies that intersect.

Still, Williams was restrained to the point of appearing like a real person, and Laura Linney was just deranged enough that the writers could have squeezed out yet another subplot, had they so chosen. I’m glad they didn’t, but still.

Now, if you’re a spoiler-phobe, start running. The rest of you, I’ll address shortly.

We clear? Excellent.

Christopher Walken’s opening and closing monologues felt forced. I wanted to see Dobbs’s show, not hear one of his friends say how great it was – and while I think I get why he was giving the monologues (here’s a hint: consider the movie’s title), it wasn’t all that clear.

Also, let me address the computer glitch around which the plot turns. This is something that really bothered me, to the point of seriously taking me out of the action.

The computerized voting system ranks the winners in alphabetical order by the double letters in a candidate’s name. So in the states where Dobbs runs, he wins. In the other states, President Kellogg beats Senator Mills.

But line up Dobbs (2 B’s), Kellogg (2 L’s trumped by 2 G’s) and Mills (2 L’s), and… they’re in normal alphabetical order. All the writers had to do was make the Republican candidate Senator Hill, instead, and you’ve maintained your sneaky alphabetizing, but eliminated the troublesome standard alphabetizing.

Yes, I’m a geek for letting this bother me, but remember: there are far bigger geeks than I out there. If it bothers me, it’ll bother others. Perhaps badly.

On the plus side, the way they addressed the proper end result of the election was satisfactory. It was neither a dream come true nor a disaster. I can accept that.

Oh, why not?
Nitpicks aside, it didn’t suck. It wasn’t bad by any stretch. I’d rather not have paid $10.25 for my ticket, but if you can get student or matinee rates, or you’re looking for something decent to rent in a few months, check it out.

The rest of the internet
The IMDb page.
Bad reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.
A review at The Daily Skiff

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