Monday, October 1, 2007

Man of the Year mini-review

Last night, my wife and I watched the Robin Williams comedy-drama Man of the Year. It’s about a political comedian named Tom Dobbs (Williams) who decides to run for President and—surprise, surprise—gets elected as an independent over the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger. However, the happiness and shock are both short-lived when it’s revealed that a software glitch in the computerized voting system propelled Dobbs to victory. In fact, as we learn in one scene, he didn’t even come close to winning.

While the ominous computer software company that created the voting system tries to silence the truth, we’re left with two giant plot holes. In light of the 2000 elections (namely, Florida), why didn’t the two main candidates make an issue over the result? After all, again, Dobbs didn’t even come close to winning. Second. Dobbs’ comedic team has virtually no suspicions. Comics are generally very intelligent people whose humor often serves as an acerbic-but-sharp social commentary. How come none of them suspect anything amiss, either? They all just want to bury it and move on. Maybe it’s from the euphoria of a Hail Mary-style election win, or maybe it’s just inferior script writing.

Intriguing film, but I would’ve liked to have seen the story line developed more. The one thing I did like about the film is how, though flawed (Dobbs seems to pick and choose the issues over which to be pragmatic and which to simply joke around and follow status quo) it captured the American frustration of the two-party system.

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