Maybe I'm wrong; maybe the negative rating is from those who think this film is too ambitious or too unfocused. However I've never seen so many details of real life captured so artfully, and the best moments of the film are in between the two political conventions. We see glimpses of many walks of life, and Robert Downey Jr. in the thick of everything, interacting in every possible way with them, from feigning insanity to asking intelligent questions. We see black militant loudmouths, ultra greedy Wall Street types, famous actors turned once a year political activists, and stodgy political aides blanketing the convention's inner corridors. And everything gets skewered by the camera and Downey's charming yet not so subtle responses.
But there are quieter moments, like Downey's relationships with his wife and parents, a minute in the life of a talented graffiti artist, a young friend and maybe politician's somewhat eery ascension from flesh to media. And all the artists, musicians, and filmmakers have rational and intelligent commentary on society, told in a conversation to Downey, not to an audience or to the camera.
It all hits you over the head like a frying pan with it's combination of emotion, humor, chaos, and behind the scenes voyeurism. You realize just how much social upheaval was going on during the '92 election year, and how unique a situation it was to have Perot drop in and drop out as a third candidate. Or maybe all the craziness in this film goes on all the time, and the cameras just happened to be there to capture it all at that particular time in American culture. A touching, inspiring, humorously biting film.