Thoughts on Election

Monday, July 5, 2010 1:06 PM By Simon

-I love Reese Witherspoon in this (which I'll never say again). Her tight, penguin-like walk, unglamorous clothes and hair (which is something you've got to take into account these days), perky, clipped Midwestern accent, underlying scheming, it's all so wildly appropriate for what could've been a caricature (or just created one) of an overachieving high school student. She is one of two candidates I'd predict go on to grow up to be Nicole Kidman's Suzanne (Susanne? Susane?) of To Die For (the other, and closer, being Evan Rachel Wood in Pretty Persuasion, who has the same general ambition of media fame and is entirely more nefarious and manipulative than Tracy Flick).

-Otherwise, Jessica Campbell is pretty good as rebellious third party class president candidate Tammy. Matthew Broderick is both sympathetic and unlikeable as main protaganist (one of three or four main narrators) Jim McAllister, favorite teacher at the Omaha, Nebraska high school, undone by his hatred for Tracy Flick (who slept with his best friend, also a teacher, and getting him fired, though she suffered no consequences).

-The only person in this entire movie with no ulterior motives in Chris Klein's Paul Metzler (brother of Tammy, boyfriend of Tammy's former lover Lisa (Frankie Ingrassia).

-I wish I could say more, but I have nothing left. It was darkly amusing, but I have no real thoughts on it as a whole.



The Taxi Driver said...

You didn't leave Reese Withspoon in anything else? Man in the Moon? Freeway?

July 5, 2010 at 3:42 PM
Hal said...

this movie is bomb.

July 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM
Simon said...

Mike: I like her in plenty of things, I only love her in this.

Hal: Word.

July 5, 2010 at 9:06 PM
Castor said...

Loved this movie! Hilarious dark comedy that is really well performed although it really has an old "80's feel" to it because of what the actors are wearing/driving etc...

July 5, 2010 at 9:32 PM
Simon said...

Mike: I like her in plenty of things, I only love her in this.

Hal: Word.

Castor: That would have to do with the involvment of Nebraska.

July 5, 2010 at 9:38 PM
Sam Turner said...

I've enjoyed all of Payne's films that I've seen so far. I think they all bring something new to the table and he's very careful to try and not dress anything 'embarrassing' or awkward up the way that so many films do. Spot on on Broderick's character by the way. He's creepy and slimy but it's impossible not to feel some level of sympathy towards him.

July 6, 2010 at 1:33 AM
TheUnwashedMass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
July 6, 2010 at 2:25 AM
TheUnwashedMass said...

Best bit is at the end when he chucks the milkshake at the car. Big chuckles.

July 6, 2010 at 2:26 AM
Colin Biggs said...

Definitely changed Broderick's image in my eyes, but still really funny.

July 6, 2010 at 11:53 AM
Anonymous said...

It has been too long since I have seen Election. It needs to be queued.

July 6, 2010 at 2:59 PM
Chris said...

I've never been a huge fan of M. Broderick, which is maybe why I feel Election is very good without being masterpiece. Ferris Bueller's Day Off was never my cup of tea.

I like how Election experimented with voice-over from several different characters, I read about this in the book 'Screenwriters masterclass'. A. Payne also uses a lot of voice-over in his other films, which I think makes us care more about characters (About schmidt , Paris je t'aime)

A. Payne to me just keeps geting better and better. He hasn't made a bad movie yet IMHO. But I'm a little disappointed G. Clooney is in his next film, don't like Clooney

July 8, 2010 at 11:46 AM