Saturday, November 3, 2012

Running Mates (2000)

American Political Movie #2

Synopsis: Worst Magnum PI EVER!

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “The media stalks every move Michigan Governor James Pryce (Tom Selleck) makes. His staff responds to every whim. And his suit is rumpled because, advisors say, rumpled means busy. Pryce’s life is a hectic circus of photo-ops, policy wonking, campaign funds and heated speculation over his possible VP choice. And sharing centre ring with him is his smiling wife (Nancy Travis) and an entourage of ex-lovers (Laura Linney, Teri Hatcher, Faye Dunaway) who are all women of power, all hoping to wield more power by putting Pryce in the Oval Office. Ladies and gentlemen: your candidate for President of the United States!”

What Did I Learn?: If you want to get a job, wait until your potential employer is out jogging and then pitch your resume.

Really?: 1) So, a Democratic nominee for President claims his favourite Commander-in-Chief was William Henry Harrison on the grounds that he was only in office for 32 days, and couldn’t do any real damage? 2) In various rooms filled with microphones and reporters, I had a bit of trouble believing a prominent US Senator would address the campaign manager of his party’s nominee for President as “bitch” and other assorted insults. 3) Considering the Vice Presidency comes with no real power, why are the big money guys so insistent that Senator Morris (Bruce McGill) gets the Number Two job...are they planning an assassination? 4) I had a great deal of trouble believing three women would each openly boast about banging their party’s Presidential nominee when the dude’s wife is standing in the same room with them.

Rating: I feel badly for Tom Selleck – he was great as Magnum, yet every movie he’s done afterwards has been a steaming turd, and Running Mates is no exception. The script is heavy-handed and obvious, Teri Hatcher’s part seems tacked-on and pointless, and the characters are nearly all unlikeable. I was ready to award five-and-a-half stars to Running Mates until a scene near the end (see: Really? #4) when it suddenly turns into The First Wives Club; the scene is so bad, I stopped the tape and ran away, screaming. I cannot recommend this movie. 3/10 stars.

Would It Work For a Bad Movie Night?: No fucking way.


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