It’s a great movie poster, an average movie. I’m sure the critics will drool all over it, because like one of those politicians – it’s slick, it’s smart, occasionally funny, and they look great in nice suits. And that cast. Wow! Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, and George Clooney – who also directed, and co-wrote.
I guess the fourth time isn’t a charm for Clooney behind the camera. This thing just falls flat and doesn’t deliver.
There have been great movies dealing with politics and the power involved, and how it ends up corrupting. We’ve see the story about idealism in young politicians, too. That means I want something new. As a politician might say — I want change.
There are only a few truly memorable scenes in this movie. One has Philip Seymour Hoffman lecturing Ryan Gosling with a story about an honest politician he once worked for who rewarded loyalty.
I also enjoyed the scenes with Paul Giamatti and Ryan Gosling. I loved how it wasn’t written with Giamatti being the dopey character that Gosling was getting the best of. These are two smart men, they know what they want, and they’re not about to be manipulated by the other.
I found many of the characters to be one-dimensional, and they got involved in situations I didn’t see them getting into. One scene involves an affair that I can’t really explain without spoiling. Let me just say this. There’s no way the woman would’ve gotten involved in that relationship in the flirty fashion that she did. I can’t tell you why, but when you see it, you’ll know what I mean. The couple having the affair has a goofy scene where their cell phones get mixed up, and he sees she had another affair. I wasn’t buying it.
When I think about some of the movies dealing with politics that I enjoyed – Bob Roberts, All the Presidents Men, and The Candidate – I wondered if timing played a part in us enjoying those so much; although I didn’t see The Candidate or Presidents Men in the ‘70s when they came out (I would’ve been around 5-years-old that time).
I almost had the same feeling watching Wag the Dog, even though that’s a dark comedy that dealt with a sex scandal. It’s a movie critics praised, possibly because of all the talented names involved. That movie didn’t make me laugh even as much as watching some political commentary from The Daily Show.
This movie has a bunch of actors I liked, and I have to be honest – I was never really bored watching it. I just thought it dealt with outdated stuff and wasn’t all that original. But hey – it’s hard to pull off movies that blow people away. If I knew how, I’d be writing screenplays instead of critiquing people that do.
This gets a B-.