For the last two presidential elections, on Election Day I have stayed home in the evening and watched a DVD. I don’t care for all the endless election returns on the telly all night long. I choose politically based films to watch instead.
Eight years ago, I watched Dave, an excellent comedy starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. It’s a good film with Dave as a regular citizen who ends up being forced to impersonate the president when the real one becomes ill. Sigourney Weaver plays the real president’s wife. Lots of room for comedy and it has a good message.
Four years ago, I watched Swing Vote starring Kevin Costner. Kevin is just so darn appealing, and played the role of a simple, country man so well. The presidential election all comes down to his single vote, and the two candidates proceed to woo him for his support. A bright, fun film, and a bonus for me was that it was filmed largely in New Mexico, where I am living now. Type Swing Vote into the search box on the upper left hand side of my blog to read my review of this comedy.
This year, I am staying home and have picked out something to watch on streaming Netflix. It’s a film from 2013, Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker plays a butler in the White House who serves different administrations over decades, and watches presidents and their staffs come and go. It sounds like a winner, focusing also on the civil rights movement, possibly one of the most important times in American history. I’m really looking forward to seeing this and will write a review for you after I have watched it.
A local theater in Albuquerque is showing Air Force One on election night, for one night only. This film stars Harrison Ford as the President, and sounds like it would be good for those who like a little more action in their movies.
Another great film that is a riotous comedy is Election. It stars Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon, and was written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor of Sideways fame. If you haven’t ever seen it, this year might be just the right time. Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) is a teacher at a high school. An election at the school for class president unfolds with student Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) driven to win no matter what. It is rated R and deserves that rating. The election process at the school mirrors the process of elections in American politics.
A more serious film is The Contender starring Joan Allen. She is a vice presidential candidate who finds her past being dragged through the dirt. This is a serious drama that has parallels to modern day politics. It’s a very good political thriller.
Skip the network news on election night and tune in to a film about an election or a presidency, just for fun. Let me know what you watched!