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Man of the Year
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Lewis Black, Jeff Goldblum
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Web Site:
Kiddie Movie: They probably won't get most of it.
Date Movie: The first half is good for the both of you.
Gratuitous Sex: Talk.
Gratuitous Violence: Some scenes when they attack Eleanor.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: First half:  A lot.  Second half:  Not so much.
Memorable Scene: The debate is a hoot.
Memorable Quote: Too many political jokes to list.
Directed By: Barry Levinson
Produced By: James G. Robinson, David Robinson

Man of the Year
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:56 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Itís always a bummer when the trailer for a movie gives away pretty much every funny scene. Such isnít the case with "Man of the Year," a movie where Robin Williams plays Tom Dobbs, a kind of Jon Stewart type of character. The problem with the trailer is that it doesnít tell you this movie is going to take a truly dark turn, one that sadly plays right into the conspiracy hands that it is really big business that controls the world, maybe with the help of some politicians. Hereís the story, and the one the trailer doesnít tell youÖ

Tom Dobbs plays your general "Iím a comedian and I give you the news and I skewer politicians at every chance I can" kind of guy. All of a sudden, at the urging on one of the members of the studio audience, Tom Dobbs finds himself running for President of the United States, and since he came late to the party, he finds himself only on the ballot in around seventeen states, but in those states he's getting around 10 Ė 20% of the polls. At first he handles his campaign as a straight man, sticking to his talking points and not being funny, but then, during the debate, he finally lets loose, being the candidate everyone wanted him to be.

Meanwhile we find out that a computer company has been given the exclusive rights to supply computer voting booths for the upcoming election, and that one of their employees, Eleanor (Laura Linney), has found that there is a flaw in the software. Upon telling her boss she is assured the flaw has been fixed, and that there is no problem.

Low and behold as the results from the election are rolling in, Dobbs ends up winning the election, but Eleanor is sure something is wrong, tells her boss, but Stewart (Jeff Goldblum), sort of the muscle for the computer company, now takes the movie into a dark turn. Yup, all of a sudden it is Eleanor trying to get to Tom and explain to him he didnít win the election, truly figure out why the computers were screwed up, and run for her life from the company goons trying to kill her. This is where the movie took a dark, and bizarrely unnecessary turn.

Eventually Tom and Eleanor meet, Tom becomes smitten with Eleanor while Eleanor wrestles if she should tell the President-Elect he really didnít win the election, but her story is punctuated with scrutiny because the big, bad computer company drugged her, had her hospitalized, and her reputation trashed.

Fine, I probably gave away too much about the movie, but I was disappointed that a movie that had so much potential, especially during the first half of it, took such a dark turn when it really didnít need to. Sure, they could have kept the story about the computer screw-up, but I feel they should have been more lighthearted in the computer company bungling up the software. The reason I say this is because it wasnít some grand conspiracy on the part of the computer company to get Dobbs elected, they just didnít want to be shown as bumbling goofs who canít seem to get a computer to add votes properly (maybe they should have watched "Wheel of Fortune" like Eleanor ended up doing).

So, a movie that was blasting away at the satire during the first half of the film, and being pretty funny about it, took a lousy turn, at least for me, and lost most, if not all, of the funny. What a bummer.

I liked Robin Williams bringing back the funny, and thought he did a decent job, even if his joke repertoire was sort of old, Christopher Walken was great, as usual, and I really enjoyed Lewis Black who is coming into his own in the movies. But the dark turn the movie took was so absurd that it pretty much destroyed the enjoyment I was having.

If you want a funny, 4 star out of 5, satirical look if a TV comedian who reads the news actually ran for President and ran his candidacy like his TV show, go see "Man of the Year" but leave after the scene where you can appreciate Laura Linneyís boobs in her "going to bed" clothes before the bad guy shows up. If you stay, you get about an hour of a bad, 0 star, political thriller for most of the rest of the flick. Average the two together and I give "Man of the Year" 2 stars out of 5.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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