Monday, November 5, 2012

Primary Colors (1998)

American Political Movie #3

Synopsis: in a nutshell, Barack Obama joins ’92 Clinton campaign and realizes he doesn’t like what he sees.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Jack Stanton (John Travolta) is a virtually unknown Southern governor on a quest for the White House with his strong, savvy and equally ambitious wife, Susan (Emma Thompson). Running against all odds, the Stanton need all the help they can get from their extremely colorful political team”

What Did I Learn?: Pointing a revolver at a dude’s nuts is apparently an effective means of extracting a legally-binding confession.

You Might Like This Movie If: You enjoy a *cheesy* Bill Clinton impression.

Really?: 1) See “What Did I Learn?” 2) I’m pretty sure that any male employee – even a so-called master strategist – would immediately get the heave-ho from a campaign after whipping his dick out to a room full of onlookers. 3) Wouldn’t Governor Picker have realized his cocaine-fueled sex life of two decades earlier would catch up with him if he ran for President?

Rating: Primary Colors is a fun, and occasionally thoughtful through-the-looking-glass satire about the pressures of running for office. While it’s worth watching, the film veers badly off course whenever Kathy Bates’ larger-than-life character appears on-screen, and Travolta’s rather obvious Clinton impression is a huge distraction. I have to wonder: couldn’t he have created a new character from scratch and tried acting, instead of pretending to be Phil Hartman on Saturday Night Live? 6.5/10 stars.

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