jon Stewart has been fairly quiet since his retirement from The Daily Show. In a recent interview with Howard Stern he talked about being content on a farm for rescued animals and enjoying more time with his family. He also sent to that he would be doing projects that interested him. In “Irresistible” Stewart working as both Writer and Director has crafted a funny, informative, and expansive look at the political process. Steve Carell stars as Gary Zimmer; a senior advisor to the Clinton’s who is still smarting over the recent election particularly his insistence that the “Rust Belt” was firmly in their hands and therefore opted not to devote a significant amount of time campaigning there which in turn was a key reason for their defeat. An online video from a small farming community in Wisconsin catches Gary’s eye as it shows a former Marine farmer named Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) challenging the local mayor at a town hall over immigration related issues and other hot topics. Convinced that he can bring Jack over to the Democratic Party and use him as a starting point to restore the party in Wisconsin; Gary heads to the small town to make his pitch. He quickly finds himself out of his element as the small-town community with friendly townsfolk to watch out for one another is very different than what he is used to. Gary eventually convinces Jack to run for Mayor and his involvement soon attracts the big money from the opposing side that seem to be rattled by what appears to be an insignificant small-town campaign. Gary soon realizes that his nemesis Faith (Rose Byrne) who is his opposite for the Republican Party. Gary and Faith have a clear history with one another and there is clearly plenty of animosity between them as each one is determined to succeed and broke their success in the face of the other. As the campaign unfolds viewers are given a very direct look at how the political machine works from polling, demographics, special interests, fund raising, campaigning, muckraking, and using the media. While this is often presented in a humorous way; Stewart uses a lot of simple but direct approaches to the various topics as he did on The Daily Show as a basis for further discussion. The film takes some unexpected twists as it unfolds and the conclusion helps underscore that all parties involved often have an angle that they’re trying to work. One of the biggest messages that I took from the film was that the amount of money poured into campaigns has become more about one side beating the other rather than addressing the issues and putting the best possible people forward to represent the population. Stewart handles the very complicated topics of the film through humor but above all used generally likable characters on all sides. Nobody was truly evil and you could clearly see much of their motivations. The closing credits contains an interview with a political expert who discusses Superpacs and their lack of oversight and how people with ulterior motives can generate large amounts of money by manipulating the system completely within the law. From a strong cast and entertaining story. Stewart has crafted a very solid and enjoyable film that will make you think. 4 stars out of 5
If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @ https://www.msbreviews.com If someone asks me what I would entirely remove from the world to make it a better place, my answer would either be politics or religion. Both are necessary in their own way, but all I see is lies, corruption, racism, war, death, and so on. Therefore, I'm not a fan of political movies, even when these are meant to be satires or just a light-hearted flick for families to enjoy. That said, I really liked Jon Stewart's talk show, and Steve Carell is one of those actors who's always able to make me laugh no matter what. So, I decided to give this one a go... I have very mixed feelings, but probably not the ones most people will share with one another. Being from Portugal (an European country with a wholly different process of election) and having close to zero interest in politics, I struggled with completely understanding America's way of campaigning and voting, which is kind of one of the points the film eventually makes: the system isn't the best one. Ironically, one of the best parts is somewhat connected to one of my major issues. The last fifteen to twenty minutes play out a genuinely smart idea, even if it's logically ludicrous, but it made me want the entire film to explore it. From the very beginning until the start of these last few minutes, it's a pretty straightforward political-comedy with nothing being remotely unique or groundbreaking. I didn't even chuckle at most of the jokes, and when I did, it was more due to the actor's performance than the joke on itself. Irresistible follows a formulaic cycle of events, where Democrats and Republicans constantly get the upper hand on each other with an extra move after the other. Honestly, it gets tiresome and dull at a certain point. This is how those last minutes that I addressed above relate to this issue: I wish that the movie had explored that final idea instead of saving it for a plot twist that was far from mind-blowing. Yes, it's an entirely unrealistic idea in the sense that it's impossible for it to actually happen without someone screwing it up. However, I rather have a film with a bold yet nonsensical concept boasting a really impactful message than saving this portion to be the ending of a cheesy, cliche, unfunny, and not that entertaining political satire. Honestly, without the extraordinary cast, Irresistible would have been a total disaster. Steve Carell, as expected, carries the whole thing to safe harbor. I always loved his mannerisms and expressions, even when some people find them over-the-top or unnecessary. I just can't not like one of his performances. He perfectly captures the "man from the capital" persona, someone who doesn't know how to deal with the hospitality of Rural America or how to talk to Deerlaken's people or even what to order at a bar. Chris Cooper delivers a phenomenal display as Jack Hastings, the Democrat's candidate. His will to save his town and his love for everyone who lives in it takes him through the crooked path of politics, but without ever giving up on what he truly believes in. He doesn't want to lie, he doesn't want to play like everyone else plays, he just wants to be himself. Mackenzie Davis returns to her good performances (loved in Terminator: Dark Fate, but The Turning was a terrible mistake in her career), by playing the not-that-innocent daughter, Diana Hastings. Finally, I like Rose Byrne, but her character's relationship with Gary Zimmer is also one of my biggest problems with the movie. They're the most annoying part of it all. Extremely cliche, not funny at all, and the dialogues become so exaggeratedly improvised. Their banter continuously unbalances the tone. This type of toxic yet sexy relationship has been seen so many times now that it genuinely becomes incredibly irritating. Jon Stewart clearly needs some notes so that next time, he knows how to distinguish a feature film from a talk show's sketch. Irresistible owns a bold, intelligent idea that despite being unrealistically absurd, it carries an impactful message that I'd love to have seen explored in a deeper level, and not just in the last fifteen minutes. Jon Stewart's movie is at its best when making subtle little jokes about important real-life themes like racism, immigration, gun violence, political corruption, and more, showing the audience how some people foolishly react in certain situations. However, if it weren't for an outstanding Steve Carell and an exceptional cast, this film would have been a trainwreck. With a formulaic narrative lacking effective humor and unique characterization, Irresistible struggles to be remotely entertaining. It also features such a cliche, annoying relationship between two characters that made me roll my eyes and sigh way too often. A comedy that barely makes me chuckle about an activity I sincerely hate... It didn't work for me, but if you enjoy this subgenre, go for it. It's still far from being an awful movie. Rating: C
I found this movie to be witty and funny while at the same time tackling the very serious issue of elite campaign financing in politics and the neglect of heartland America. The story seemed to be well written and directed (from my standpoint as a regular viewer not a critic). And acting wasn't bad either (typical Steve Carell humor like in Space Force) It reminded me, in part, of the movie "Welcome to Mooseport", which had a similar theme. Would definitely recommend for someone looking for a light hearted funny movie.
I'm dismayed to discover that Jon Stewart wrote and directed this but now I get it. Irresistible plays like a Hallmark / Comedy Central collaboration. It's as bad as that sounds. We spend all our time hopping from one broad, lazy, tired caricature of rural life to another. That works on a comedy show. It doesn't work in a movie, which needs to be a more meaty, sinewy, full-bodied experience. I only rate it this highly because it's watchable--but why would you? The movie won't give you a reason. Even the comedic genius of Rose Byrne can't save this thing 'cause she's not in it enough.
Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots
There is a group of folks who will absolutely hate “Irresistible,” the new political satire from writer / director Jon Stewart. They’ll equate it with beating a dead horse, finding it to be an aggravating exercise in what they like to term “liberal elitism.” Then there will be the politically-minded viewers in agreement with Stewart who will voraciously slurp up what is dished out on screen, shouting an internal “Amen!” as the story preaches to the choir. Neither will be completely wrong, but reactions and reviews will likely be split along political lines — or your noted tolerance for intellectual sarcasm. The politically-charged dramedy is about what happens when a small Wisconsin town becomes the main attraction at the heart of a political circus. When Washington, D.C.’s top Democrat strategist Gary (Steve Carell) is sent a video of retired Marine Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) standing up for the rights of local undocumented workers at a town hall meeting, he begins to salivate at the possibility that he may have just discovered the potential key to winning back the red-leaning Heartland. Gary comments that Jack “looks conservative, but sounds progressive” and devises a plan to convince the man to run for Mayor — as a Democrat. Big-money Republicans begin to notice as Jack’s campaign takes off and send in a powerful counterattack in the form of Gary’s brilliant political consultant nemesis (and Fox News favorite), Faith (Rose Byrne). What started out as a local race rapidly spins out of control as the two pundits attack each other in increasingly personal and cutthroat ways in their fight to come out on top. The comedy aspects start out with basic, lukewarm, fish-out-of-water gags as Gary adjusts to small-town life (he makes a disgusted face every time he’s served a bottle of Budweiser, for example). The funniest, smartest bits really get going when the mayoral race is given the Presidential-style election treatment. The over-the-top political strategy includes increasingly ridiculous campaign ads and stunts, all designed to win the favor of the town’s undecided voters. Stewart knows that his audience is smart and never stoops to explaining his jokes, which provides a refreshing contrast from films that have a tendency to treat viewers as idiots. There’s a strong commentary that’s critical about everything from super PACs, the media, the quick dismissal many Democrat strategists employ in the flyover states, and a takedown of campaign finance laws, noting that fundraising is one of the most blatant examples of accepted corruption in America’s political system today. It’s absurd how much money is poured into campaigns, and Stewart strongly makes his case with this tale of political discourse. In case your preconceived notions are expecting it, you should note that Stewart doesn’t make the rural voters in America’s heartland out to be stupid dolts. It’s quite the contrary. In some cases, the plain and simple country folk are the smartest people in the room. That’s not to say that Stewart hides his one-sided political stance (he doesn’t), and his snarky brand of commentary combined with an impassioned liberal viewpoint may turn off some closed-minded viewers. But the film hopefully will serve as a motivator to encourage people to get out and vote in November, and is a reminder that so many of us are too comfortable in our ideological bubbles that we often forget to reach out to the other side. The film ends with a strange “gotcha” style twist that manipulates the audience, much like the entire campaigning system it’s attempting to satirize. The conclusion is a bit of a letdown, but “Irresistible” makes a valid point about our country’s divisive party politics.
Despite the incredible and comedically gifted cast and filmmaker, 'Irresistible' is... well, boring. Not boring boring, just dull. It's interesting as a political commentary but as far as laughs, pacing and general storytelling go, it's pretty much a snooze. There were some good jabs at the media and a sneaky poke at Hollywood's romantic age and gender disparities, which was enjoyable for half a second. If you're able to make it to the film's conclusion without falling asleep, there is a pretty decent payoff - but was it worth the journey? Eh, depends on your love and interest level on American politics and their wacky electoral system. I was expecting great things from Stewart and his former protégé, but alas my expectations were perhaps too high and the magic did not follow. Look, there's a lot of crap out there and you could do worse, but this is just an “okay“ film. Sorry. Try again in four years. - Jess Fenton Read Jess' full article... https://www.maketheswitch.com.au/article/review-irresistible-a-behind-the-scenes-look-into-the-broken-us-electoral-system