August 06, 2008

Swing Vote Swings Close to Nausea

A political movie. Made by Hollywood. During an election year. What was I thinking?

If that isn't a recipe for predictability then I don't know what is. As the saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I've been fooled by Hollywood political movies masquerading as entertainment before so shame on me.

This was like an Obama campaign commercial except you couldn't fast-forward through it. The only reasons I stayed till the end was so that I could have the slim satisfaction of being proven right in its predictability and for blog-flame purposes. It was not only cloying in its liberal piety but at the same time having a plot predictable as the sunrise. That's what we call a two-fer, as in two thumbs down. In short, you can make it propaganda or you can make it predictable but not both. It almost makes you pine for Leni Riefenstahl.

I had trusted the USCCB review, which painted the movie as "nonpartisan". Is it? Well don't believe me but Google it like I just did and see who's plugging Swing Vote. The first blogspot'r pumping it was from a site with the tagline: "Your home for Progressive news and entertainment in Aboite". I suppose that says something about the USCCB.

There were three or four chuckles; if labeled a comedy it left a lot to be desired. The acting was mostly weak. Watching Kevin Costner try to play a blue collar worker was a painful exercise in itself. Costner looked as authentic in the role as Mitt Romney did duck-hunting or Barack Obama did bowling. Think nails on chalkboard. The casting director must've been as drunk as the character Costner portrayed. [Update: I just learned that Costner cast and paid for it himself. That explains it. My faith in casting directors has been partially restored.]

The political slant was so obvious that at one point it was unintentionally humorous. The Democratic candidate begins pandering to the one swing voter (Kevin Costner character) by flip-flopping on the issues, but the one issue in which he looked grave and sick to his soul was forsaking the holy Democratic Party sacrament of abortion. Suddenly the candidate wonders if it's all worth it, if he should be betraying his principled pro-abort position. High-laire.

All of the issues that mattered to the conscience of the film, the daughter of Costner's character, were talking points of the DNC. The ubiquitous whine of the Left: "if we're the richest country in the world then why can't we have X for all Americans?" was on full display, where X = the latest thing that everyone should have the government give them. Needless to say, you come away from the film not understanding how anyone, anywhere has ever voted for a Republican.

In short, the movie was as deep as cotton candy, nuanced as Fred Rogers, funny as a crutch (Rich!) and predictable as a bloviating Sean Penn. After reading Mrs. Darwin's account of King Kong, I breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn't sat through it. Now you, gentle reader, may breath a sigh of your own after reading this assuming you didn't make the same mistake I did.

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