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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I don't know how many people who saw ELECTION saw Alexander Payne's previous film, CITIZEN RUTH(1996). That film was a satire on abortion, with Laura Dern as a pregnant homeless woman with several children already taken away by social services, and who is caught in a tug-of-war between pro-choice and pro-life activists. I've never seen an abortion satire before, so that was fresh, but all the characters where instead caricatures, so it was difficult for me to laugh. And the points were made with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer swatting a fly.
ELECTION suffers somewhat from that problem, but most of it works. Much of that, of course, is due to Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. Both of them embody their characters down to a T, and while they show us their flaws and their laughable parts, they also made them human beings. As much as we're meant to dislike Tracy, for example, I actually felt sorry for her when she talked about being lonely. And how events proceed between them is logical and well-told.
Less well-done is Chris Klein as the jock who runs against Tracy. He's likeable at times, but I could see Klein condescend to him and make him a boob at times(as his sister Tammy, on the other hand, Jessica Campbell makes a good impression; I was actually surprised at an action she took, though it does make sense). I also thought the sexual repression stuff was obvious and overdone, especially when Broderick sees and hears Tracy when he's making love. We got that already. Nevertheless, this is often funny and biting.
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