A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,435 ( 157)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Loren Nelson ...
Custodian
Emily Martin ...
Girl in Crisis
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Storyline

Tracy Flick is running unopposed for this year's high school student election. But school civics teacher Jim McAllister has a different plan. Partly to establish a more democratic election, and partly to satisfy some deep personal anger toward Tracy, Jim talks popular varsity football player Paul Metzler to run for president as well. Chaos ensues. Written by R. P. Falvey <falvey@scf.usc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Reading, Writing, Revenge.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, sex-related dialogue and language, and a scene of drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eleição  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$119,080 (USA) (23 April 1999)

Gross:

$14,879,556 (USA) (6 August 1999)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The apples on the tree in Mrs. Novotony's back yard were tied onto the branches. See more »

Goofs

In the last scene Jim McAllister is in Washington, DC. He says in the voice-over that, having spent the morning on the National Mall, he was on his way to the Holocaust Museum when the scene occurred. That scene was shot outside the Hays-Adams Hotel, just north of Lafayette Square and the White House, and Jim is clearly walking north on 16th Street; the Holocaust Museum is about a mile south of the White House and only a few hundred feet from the Mall. See more »

Quotes

Paul Metzler: [brainstorming campaign slogans] Paul... Paul Power. Paul... Paul for President. Promise... Progress... Peanut.
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Crazy Credits

The end titles include four "The producers wish to thank the following:" cards, one "Very Special Thanks to:" card, and one "Extra Very Special Thanks to:" card. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: All About Politics (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Only God Knows
Written by Scott Bricklin and Brian Bricklin
Performed by Martin's Dam
Courtesy of Hybrid Recordings
By arrangemnt with Hybrid Recordings and Sire Records Group
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User Reviews

Not totally convincing but an enjoyable dark comedy that swipes at politics and sexual relations
10 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

James McAllister is a contented high school teacher who is presiding over the elections for school president this year. However, the only student running for the position is the overly keen Tracey Flick – a driven student who he feels is callous and blames for his best friend being fired for falling in love with her. Desperate to prevent her becoming president, James convinces injured jock Paul to run, prompting Paul's love-scorned sister to also stand. Where once the presidency was a good clean-cut race, Tracey takes the competition badly, and it descends into something a lot more sinister.

I wasn't totally sure about this film but I had heard good things about it and, even though the fact that it was an MTV Production put me off a bit, I decided to give it a try. The film is quite clever for the most part and takes the worn genre and clichés of high school movies and makes them into a quite good little political satire of sorts – albeit one that is rather downbeat at times. The comedy is not laugh out loud funny and maybe that's a problem, but I enjoyed the parallels with modern politics (and sexual issues) and found it to make some good points in a funny way. Of course the end is rather downbeat but only because it is sadly believable.

I must say that I was rather put off by a couple of different things. The first was the amount of sexual material in the film – not a real problem but I was a little put off by how graphically the subject of underage sex was dealt with. This was a minor problem (if you can pardon the pun!) but what I found a little worrying was Payne's apparent misogynistic touch on the film – all the men were hapless saps and the women held the real power all the way; I'm not saying this is not true but Payne has little sympathy for his female characters and they may come off better overall but there is no love lost for them.

The cast opens with an amusing bit of role reversal that sees everyone's favourite high school student become a teacher in the shape of Matthew Broderick. Hardly having the best run of roles for a while, he is actually pretty good here even if some of what happens to his character doesn't seem to fit very well. Witherspoon is annoying but the difference here is that it is intentional! She easily fits into the character and her role has a great touch to it – I'm not saying it is easy to enjoy her performance but she is good. Klein does his usual dumb jock thing but is fortunate that he has the material to support (this time) but I felt Campbell was left with a sympathetic character that was placed on the sidelines too much.

Overall I enjoyed this film but it had its limitations. It isn't hilariously funny as many coming to this genre may expect but it is quite cleverly written. The story struggles a bit as it goes along, with threads left hanging that stop it being as tight as it maybe could have been but generally I enjoyed it but can see why some others have problems with it.


31 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why did Tracy sleep with the teacher? Swollenclip
Why Did McAllister Throw the Ballot Slips Into The Trash Can? stephanielaur92
Message? Mononoke-hime
Larry rainbow26
Funny How this movie came out before the 2000 Presidential Election homercles11
Why wasn't Tracy already president? moviesam21
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