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Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
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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 <email@example.com>
In the gym scenes, since the extras were real high school students, the director faced the problem of not having enough of them because of the SAT season, and many of them having already found out the sometimes tedious process of working as an extra. As a solution for the shots requiring a full gym to be seen, the director asked the extras to move two or three times from their seats to look as if there were more people with the help of editing. The wide shot showing both sides of the gym was done in less than 20 minutes when the teachers of Papillion La Vista Highschool asked more students to join the film shooting. See more »
(at around 20 mins) Mr. McAllister gets into his car and shuts the door. The car is old and the loose weatherstripping gets caught on the outside of his car. Tracy is speaking to him and has her hand on the car door. A couple of seconds later, the black rubber weatherstripping is now in its proper place and not showing on the outside of the car. See more »
[her campaign speech]
Who cares about this stupid election? We all know it doesn't matter who gets elected president of Carver. Do you really think it's going to change anything around here? Make one single person smarter or happier or nicer? The only person it does matter to is the one who gets elected. The same pathetic charade happens every year, and everyone makes the same pathetic promises just so they can put it on their transcripts to get into college. So vote for me, because I don't even...
[...] See more »
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 »
Not totally convincing but an enjoyable dark comedy that swipes at politics and sexual relations
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.
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