Opening 6 Aug 2020
The heartland of America is often hyped as where real Americans live. Both Republicans and Democrats seek the key to engaging these Americans to win their votes which often have gone to one party for decades. When progressive sounding hero Marine Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) speaks at a local town meeting about inclusion and tolerance, the video goes viral and attracts the attention of Democrat Gary Zimmer (Steve Carrell) who sees Hastings as an opportunity to turn a small town from Republican to Democrat. He convinces Jack to run as a Democrat for mayor. Lots of big city guy stepping on country bumpkin kind of scenes; some funny but some not so. Then comes the blond bombshell competition with her potty mouth and high gloss teeth, Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne). Faith brings a big team and high tech, raising the stakes and raising cash. Gary arranges for a new political action committee to fund Jack and game on!
Cooper does a great job as a likeable, “awe shucks” kind of guy. Carrell and Byrne are so convincing as political animals that even as a fan of Carrell, I truly disliked him by the end of the film. There is a message here, so be sure to sit through the credits in case you missed it. Jon Stewart will spell it out for you—time for this kind of party to be over. (Mary Nyiri)