review by Bobby Blakey
While Jon Stewart might be most well known to most from the Daily Show he is a filmmaker and activist in his own right. You don’t have to agree with his politics, but the man has passion and his ongoing fight for the Firefighters was inspiring. His previous film Rosewater was powerful and showcased a new side of him as a film writer and director. Now he is back with an all new film Irresistible starring Steve Carrell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper and Topher Grace, but does it capture the essence to the political nature its pushing for or will it fail to win the election?
Irresistible follows what happens when a small town becomes the main attraction for two rival political pundits. Top Democratic consultant Gary Zimmer sees an opportunity to win back voters in America’s heartland when a video of a passionate farmer and retired Marine colonel goes viral. After a long, hard day’s work as a farmhand, Gary persuades the farmer to run for mayor. However, when the Republican National Committee counters him by sending in his brilliant nemesis, Faith Brewster, Gary is more than primed to up his game, turning this local race into a hilarious game of tug of war.
It was pretty clear from the trailer that this was going to be a much lighter film than Rosewater and it is, but make no mistake there is some pretty important things to learn from it. Right out the gate he offers up a brilliant scene showcasing a press moment that on the surface seems like ridiculous gibberish and it is, but if you really pay attention it speaks volumes to not only the whole film but our current state of democracy and news coverage. The cast are all great with Carrell getting to bring both his dramatic and comedy chops to the mix. Obviously he is not playing the slapstick card here, but is still able to inject the character with some lighthearted banter that keeps him likable despite his job not always so much. Rose Byrne is the same with more of the serious throughout. Make no mistake she gets some funny moments too, but they are played for the same but opposite opponents which is the real catalyst for the whole film.
The supporting cast are what makes it all come together. Much like the world it’s the people that should matter to the government and it’s the same to this film. Without the supporting cast the rest of the story and ultimate direction have no chance of working. There are times that it feels like it’s going to be a pretty generic political satire film, but the fun twists and direction of the whole thing makes it stand out all its own. I also applaud Stewart for walking a line here that does have its clear side, but in general isn’t trying to push its agenda on anyone. Sure there will be some too pig headed to see otherwise but I never once felt like I was being preached too. Instead it felt like more of a warning of sorts and a jab at the system that is clearly flawed on so many levels.
I really enjoyed this film more than I thought I might and think its one people really should check out. Grab your copy of Irresistible available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.