Irresistible (\N)

Steve Carell,
Irresistible is a movie starring Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, and Chris Cooper. A Democratic strategist helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town.
  • 6.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-10-11 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Jon Stewart, Director:
  • Brad Pitt, Producer:


6 / 10

Jon Stewart speaks

Greetings again from the darkness. For the fifteen plus years Jon Stewart hosted "The Daily Show", he could be depended on to bring his acerbic wit and often scathing political commentary to virtually every show. His most devoted followers leaned left, though he was known to take down extremists on both ends. Stewart's foray into filmmaking as writer-director was ROSEWATER (2014), a look at the detainment and interrogation of journalist Maziar Bahari in an Iranian prison. This follow-up takes a much lighter approach - one similar to his TV days - while still managing to skewer our election system and campaign financing.

Steve Carell spent a brief time as a reporter/correspondent on "The Daily Show" before heading off to mega-stardom in movies and on TV. Here he plays Gary Zimmer, a political strategist for the Democratic Party. The film opens on the 2016 Presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and we first see Zimmer in a whirlwind media battle of words against his nemesis, Faith Brewster (played by a funny but underutilized Rose Byrne), a strategist for the Republicans. As you might imagine, Zimmer is a funk after the election, and his career is in shambles.

A ray of hope and inspiration enters Zimmer's life in the form of a viral YouTube video. Wisconsin farmer and former Marine Jack Hastings (the great Chris Cooper) is recorded tearing into the Deerlaken Mayor and City Council. Zimmer recognizes the Patriotism and a potential Party savior, and seizes on the opportunity to convince Hastings that the Democrats stand for the same things he stands for ... those things he rattled off in the video.

Zimmer in Deerlaken is the proverbial fish-out-of-water, and his trip is farmed for laughs. It starts in the local German beer hall and carries forward to Hastings' farm where Zimmer spots daughter Diana Hastings (Mackenzie Davis) up to her elbow in cow. The other locals we get to know include Will Sasso and Will McLaughlin as Big Mike and Little Mike, CJ Wilson as the accommodating barkeep, Blair Sams as the eager baker, and Brent Sexton as Republican Mayor Braun. When Zimmer's campaign for Hastings catches the eye of Ms. Brewster, we soon experience an all-out political brawl for the Mayor's job in this tiny town ... one recently made smaller by the closing of the local military base. Director Stewart labels this "Heartland USA."

Of course, this isn't a story about the candidates. It's Stewart's commentary on how campaigns are conducted today. Social media and the national news media are weapons, and we see that there's no such thing as dirty politics ... only politics. Topher Grace plays a pollster and Natasha Lyonne is in charge of analytics, and the over-dependence on data is made clear. However, the biggest point Stewart makes has to do with campaign finance and money. It's all about the 'Benjamins.' The Super PAC is shoved (conveniently) to the back of the room in what Stewart terms "an election economy."

There are plenty of Jon Stewart comedic touches on display. We get "Rhinestone Cowboy" used a couple of times, see "swing voters" listed on a first name basis, and get an advertising slogan of "a redder kind of blue." When Faith Brewster says "I look forward to lying to you in the future", we recognize this as prime form Stewart. The problem with political statements, political commentary, and political satire, is that people will complain it goes too far, or doesn't go far enough, or points the finger, or doesn't point the finger. It won't cover what they want covered in a way they want it covered. Stewart lets neither party off here. In fact, he lays blame on both. However, given what we see and live through on a daily basis right now, Stewart's observations come across a bit tame ... we wish he had pushed harder.

The opening credits segment is brilliant with a slide show of previous campaigns accompanied by Bob Seger's "Still the Same", and the closing credits are worth sticking around for just to hear Trevor Potter, the former Chairman of Federal Election Commission.

1 / 10

No more politics

Why, such a great actor, get this low, man who stars at 40 years virgin. why make political movie like this, use low joke, predictable, boring..

dont waste time with this movie

1 / 10

Terrible in so many fronts

We should know better to watch a movie about politics, the single most disgusting "profession" in the world. And no, that's not because of who's in the WH either, he's not a politician. I'm talking real career politicians. People that have done it for 4 decades. Just disgusting

2 / 10

I'm not even gonna take the bait to say how irresistible it is to make a pun...

But this is gawful! A proper stinker on all fronts! Surprisingly so, the writing and acting are proper atrocities and I truly can't understand how or why but it's painfully so - I never say not to waste your time because I feel different people may have completely opposite opinions but, sigh.... DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME - which I say in spite of the message being indeed very relevant and important, and certainly valid (which I can't say here without later checking the 'spoiler' button), but ultimately any staved off viewers would have already understood this concept and perhaps the inevitable back and forth by propaganda types who come on not to review a film but to opine on the political subject matter (which you'll soon see popping up under and around my humble review) - in short this is Jon Stewart and Steve Carell specifically that I referred to earlier, and my expectations were sky high, however even had they been grounded they would still be dashed :{

8 / 10

amusing NON-partisan indictment of our electoral process

Those who expect Jon Stewart's political comedy to be a left-wing screed will be either disappointed or relieved. This satire is truly as "fair and balanced" as certain others deceptively claim to be. It's a gutshot to our entire electoral system, showing both sides of The Aisle to be equally guilty, guilty, guilty.

Steve Carell stars as a seasoned Democratic political strategist who finds a viral You Tube clip of a small town man (Chris Cooper) in Wisconsin, making a stirring speech for the rights of others in a city hall meeting, opposing the pompous mayor and his council.. He learns that the folksy, yet eloquent fellow is a veteran and farmer, which is just what his party needs to start winning back blue-collar and rural Midwestern voters. He knows The Party and Cooper have matching values and beliefs, even though the town and state have been voting Republican.

Carell, a city guy who's (often hilariously) out of his element when trying to fit it there, rushes to the town to convince Cooper to run for mayor, breaking the Republicans' lock on the area and state. He wants Cooper to become the new face of the party. Cooper reluctantly agrees. A Republican operative (Rose Byrne), who's Carell's counterpart and frequent nemesis, sees the threat Cooper poses to their hold on that part of the base, and storms in with her minions to help the mayor keep his seat. Both parties smell a potential national impact from this minor race, and start pouring huge dollars into the fray, cranking up all the donors and tactics usually reserved for bigger stages. Both sides seem comparably desperate, and completely out of touch with the locals they're trying to woo.

This film has all the wit and cynicism of political satires akin to 1997's brilliant Wag the Dog, or earlier efforts from A Face in the Crowd and Manchurian Candidate on the dramatic side to comedies like Bulworth and Primary Colors. Both sides court a demographic group they little understand. Both are classic fish out of water who take far too long to realize how misguided their entire approach to elections has become. Various tactics either seem to work only in the short run, or backfire - sometimes spectacularly.

The wisdom of those "regular people" is greater than the Beltway Insiders understand. The clever plot delivers laughs, poignancy and a genuinely satisfying resolution. We meet a town of good people, not a bunch of rubes to be bought or manipulated by outsiders. Everyone grows wiser and more understanding of others by the end. We can all learn while we laugh at an extremely timely tale like this.