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Head of State (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 28 March 2003 (USA)
When a presidential candidate dies unexpectedly in the middle of the campaign, Washington, D.C. alderman, Mays Gilliam is unexpectedly picked as his replacement.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kim
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Senator Bill Arnot
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Bernard Cooper
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Nikki
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Advisor
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Mr. Earl
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Himself
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Nate's Girl
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Storyline

One candidate for the presidency dies in an accident a couple of weeks before the election. Meanwhile the alderman Mays Gilliam becomes a hero when he rescues a woman and her cat from an old house that would blow up. However his fiancee Kim does not pay his bills and dumps him, and Gilliam loses everything including his fancy car. When Senator Bill Arnot sees the news on television, he plots a scheme with the party advisors Martin Geller and Debra Lassiter to invite Mays to be the party nominee and lose the election for the other candidate, Vice-President Brian Lewis. Four years later, he would be the candidate and would have the chance of winning the election. Mays has a terrible beginning of campaign but when his older brother Mitch Gilliam meets him in Chicago, he advises Mays to be himself. Will he have the chance to be the first African American President of the USA? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The only thing white is the house.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chef de l'état  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,503,484 (USA) (28 March 2003)

Gross:

$37,788,228 (USA) (6 June 2003)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the Chicago speech a man stands up and yells out " Get your hand out of my pocket" in homage to Malcolm X where the same thing happened before he was assassinated. See more »

Goofs

When Mays gets picked up in the car he is soaking wet. Then when he gets out of the car his suit is completely dry. See more »

Quotes

Mays Gilliam: No, you can't use food stamps to buy tires.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, it lists many famous politicians, then in parenthesis it says "(Are not in this movie)". See more »

Connections

Features NWA: Total Nonstop Action (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Nothin'
Written by Pharrell Williams (as Pharrell L. Williams), Noreaga (as Victor Santiago) & Greg Camp
Performed by Noreaga (as N.O.R.E.)
Courtesy of Def Jam Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Written, directed and starring the Rock....Chris Rock
26 January 2005 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

In this film, the Vice President, who's the front-runner candidate for office in a coming election, often dispenses with below campaign sound bite at whatever opportunity he gets:

"I have been the Vice President for 8 years. I am a war veteran. And I'm the cousin of Sharon Stone. God bless America...and no place else."

With lines like these, what's not to like about Head of State?

Here's the premise of the film. Both the the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate of a "losing" party died when their planes crashed into each other (don't ask). With the election just weeks away, the party decided to intentionally look for a "loser" replacement candidate; one who will lose at a pegged percentage (not too much, not too little), and yet is capable of winning some "leverage" points for the next round of election. And they found Chris Rock. Enough said.

Pardon the cliché, but Head of State has to be seen to be believed. Hell, just its opening credits alone are LOL already. If you asked me, I would think this flick's mixed bag of humour (from no-holds barred low brow to smart insightful attacks on American electoral politics) worked only because it has been delivered the only way someone as comic-attuned as Chris Rock knew how. The business of making people laugh is a tough one. And IMO, Chris Rock is one of the best in the business.

Can you imagine a fluffier, more convoluted Bulworth crossed with the crude but often logical sensibilities of South Park - The movie? If yes, proceed to imagine lines hurled at you that's as zingy as a Kevin Smith vehicle (both the good and the really bad ones) and blatant slapstick's as throwaway LOL as those Airplane/ Naked Gun movies? Ladies and germs, if you can imagine all that, congrats! Because that is Head of State for you, nutshell cracked wide open. But whether you will swallow the nuts or not (I always chew first, then swallow), will depend largely on your threshold and expectation already.

We need not reminders that we all live in ludicrous times now, do we? So why not accord some of that time laughing at it all, relishing in the enjoyment of a film as ludicrously conceived as this one? Personally, I look upon Head of State as a brilliant political comedy. Its charm actually lies in its greater interest in comedy than politics. I am delighted to see this film juggle sly political wish fulfilment with the conscious play-it-up for laughs. Sometimes, strictly for laughs. So yes, I am won over and willingly lap this flick up.

Make no mistake, Head of State is a hit and miss movie. But its hits far exceed its misses. In fact, its hit rate is almost comparable to (and arguably higher than) the raunch-assisted Scary Movie. Its (sporadic) intelligence however, far surpasses the entire Waymon Bros output combined.

Hmm....its plain to see that the manic sinnerman love this movie. I have not been this entertained in very long time. Hence I shall willingly dispense you all this flick recommendation. If one pop this title into a player at any random night, I do think it will provide willing folks with an antidote release from the blues of a hellish school/work day prior. So people, go hunt for the Head of State now (pun unintended).

My word is out. God bless America....and no place else!


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