Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Five things to remember before you see The Campaign
If Obama and Romney take tips from this film, we're in trouble.
There may be no more fortuitously-timed movie to come out this year than The Campaign. With both the Democratic and Republican national conventions around the corner, the 2012 presidential campaign is about to kick into high gear, if it's not there already. The movie, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as rival candidates, is a comedic take on what happens when politics gets dirty.
While we can only hope that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney don't take any tips from this film, that doesn't mean there's nothing to learn from the profane, over-the-top, and hilarious antics on display.
1. The campaign staffs are often more interesting than the candidates.
Because they're not the ones running for office, campaign directors and other behind-the-scenes people can afford to be a little more underhanded than their candidates -- witness Romney traveling press secretary Rick Gorka recently telling press members, "Kiss my ass." Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott take Gorka's lead and run with it. Trust me, you don't want to cross these guys.
2. Big money controls everything nowadays.
The Campaign features the Motch brothers, played by Dan Ackroyd and John Lithgow, who are obviously modeled after the Koch brothers, real-life backers of the Tea Party. And so while the machinations of the brothers Motch are played for comedic effect, the fact that the Koch brothers bothered to respond to a recent interview by Galifianakis may be an indicator that fiction is closer to truth than you think.
3. Director Jay Roach knows his way around a movie about politics.
Roach is most well-known for helming the three Austin Powers movies and Meet the Parents, but he's earned acclaim in recent years for two political films that aired on HBO. Recount chronicled the chaos surrounding the recount of votes in Florida following the 2000 presidential election, while Game Change looked at John McCain's campaign in 2008 and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. While Roach didn't write The Campaign, his previous experience definitely helped keep the film somewhat grounded.
4. Campaign ads can only get nastier.
If you think you've seen some muckraking political TV commercials before, just wait until you see what Cam Brady (Ferrell) and Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) have in store. "Crossing the line" doesn't even begin to suggest what they deliver. Here's a small taste:
5. Ferrell and Galifianakis are two seriously funny people.
Sure, they've both been in some dogs over the years, but when they're at their best -- as they are here -- they'll have you rolling in the aisles. Check back on Friday for my full review.