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Movies // Hot Ticket
Nicole Kato

Will Ferrel & Zach Galifianakis in The Campaign

Movie review with Georgette Deemer,
Director of Communications, State House of Representatives

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I viewed The Campaign by myself at Ward Consolidated Theaters.

As I was on vacation, I popped in midday, midweek, which, by the way, is a great time to see a movie.

Overall what did you think?

I went in with very low expectations, but this movie surprised me. The first half of the film is laugh-out-loud hilarious, albeit very crude – not appropriate for kids or sensitive adults.

The humor lessens in the second half, but the plot still holds together. Great supporting cast, including Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow as the Motch brothers, thinly disguised as the Tea Party financiers Koch brothers, and Dylan McDermott as a cutthroat campaign manager who comes in from out of state.

If you have worked on a campaign, you’ll appreciate the humor even more.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?

When challenged on his truthfulness about going to church on a regular basis, candidate Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is asked to prove it by reciting The Lord’s Prayer. He hardly knows it, so he asks everyone to close their eyes and bow their heads in prayer.

His campaign manager then gives him the clues from across the room like he’s playing charades. You will never think of The Lord’s Prayer in the same way again.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?

★ ★ 1/2.

Was the message/theme clear?

The message was clear and simple. The movie took a lot of clichés about politics, politicians and campaigns, and heightened them to an absurd level.

There were a few jokes taken from real life, the “hunting accident” (Dick Cheney), expensive haircuts (John Edwards), irresponsible tweeting (Anthony Weiner).

Basically, the message was that politics and elected officials should be about serving your local constituents for the good of the community and not about just getting elected, no matter what the price or who gets hurt.

Did it remind you of any other work in film?

Not really. However, if you like the subject, there are two films about campaigns that I love and highly recommend.

One is the documentary The War Room, which is about Bill Clinton’s first 1992 campaign for president. The other, my favorite political film, is Bulworth, in which Warren Beatty plays a candidate so disillusioned that he takes out a contract on his own life. Expecting to be bumped off at any time, he takes the opportunity to be brutally honest with the voters and ends up realizing what’s really important in life.

To whom would you recommend this movie?

If you like Will Ferrell films, this one won’t disappoint you. I’d also recommend it to anyone who loves politics and who has worked on political campaigns. It’s good to laugh at yourself.

Did any of the actors stand out?

I loved the character Mrs. Yao. She’s the housekeeper who is Asian, but the rich North Carolina family she works for thinks she should speak with a Southern accent.

You hear her before you see her on camera, so you expect a black maid. At the end of the film, she changes jobs, but now she’s made to speak with a Hispanic accent.

It works, and is not offensive to people of color because they are showing how racial stereotypes are wrong, and that Mrs. Yao is obviously the smartest, toughest one in the film.

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Buttered popcorn and diet soda.

On a different note, what’s new with you?

I’m volunteering on one of the mayoral campaigns.

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