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.
The high school Class President election is approaching and it looks like Tracy Flick is going to win, unopposed. However, teacher Jim McAllister has other plans. He convinces jock Paul Metzler to run, sparking off an interesting chain of events.Written by
The Spanish teacher was actually a Spanish and French teacher where (and when) Alexander Payne attended high school. See more »
The car Mr. McAllister drives throughout most of the movie is a 1990 or older Ford Festiva, blue with black bumpers. In the last scene which the car appears, it is a newer model with "color-matched" (blue) bumpers. In this scene, he remarks that his wife got everything including the house, "but I got the car". See more »
You might think it upset me that Paul Metzler had decided to run against me, but nothing could be further from the truth. He was no competition for me, it was like apples and oranges. I had to work a little harder, that's all. You see, I believe in the voters. They understand that elections aren't just popularity contests. They know this country was built by people just like me who work very hard and don't have everything handed to them on a silver spoon. Not like some rich kids who ...
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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 »
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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