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Head of State (2003)

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

Director:

Chris Rock

Writers:

Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Rock ... Mays Gilliam
Bernie Mac ... Mitch Gilliam
Dylan Baker ... Martin Geller
Nick Searcy ... Brian Lewis
Lynn Whitfield ... Debra Lassiter
Robin Givens ... Kim
Tamala Jones ... Lisa Clark
James Rebhorn ... Senator Bill Arnot
Keith David ... Bernard Cooper
Tracy Morgan ... Meat Man
Stephanie March ... Nikki
Robert Stanton ... Advisor
Jude Ciccolella ... Mr. Earl
Nate Dogg ... Himself
Angie Mattson ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chef de l'état See more »

Filming Locations:

Annapolis, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,503,484, 30 March 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,788,228, 8 June 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tina Fey was one of the five uncredited writers who did a re-write on the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

Prior to the fight scene between Mays and Mitch, Mays pauses the video game he's playing. However, the screen shots of the video game change between shots. See more »

Quotes

Mays Gilliam: I'm the Government, I can do anything.
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

Referenced in Real Time with Bill Maher: Episode #14.35 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Mays the Man
Written by Frank Perilla, Michael Munford, Ashton Marks, Michael Marceau & Akira Otsuka
Performed by Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Toothless
31 March 2003 | by bix171See all my reviews

The real, angry Chris Rock doesn't put in an appearance until the final moments of this political satire (directed and co-written by Rock) but it's not enough to rescue what has come before. Rock's fantasy of being the first African-American to achieve the White House (although he's initially set up to fail by spin doctors Dylan Baker and a surprisingly funny Lynn Whitfield) is somewhat toothless by Rock's own standards. The problem is his altered perception of himself as a film star (as opposed to the established HBO black equivalent of Dennis Miller): he phonily positions himself from the onset as cuddly, concerned for the constituents of the ward he's an alderman for and reasonably ignorant of national issues; he's finally allowed to become self-aware only when his older brother (the always welcome Bernie Mac) intercedes. You keep waiting for Rock to change but when he does, it's first into a playa that comes up with glib quips in response to standard questions. (With barely a mention of foreign policy, they seem a bit stale). Only in the final debate against his opponent (Nick Searcy) does he let loose with some honesty and only then do the jokes carry some weight. Rock, making his directorial debut, opts for the equivalent of a made-for-TV movie with a flat look, very mild gags (there are not nearly enough white fright jokes but there is a fundraiser that turns into a dance party with elderly WASPs doing the electric slide, and opening credits that state Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, George Bush and Hillary Clinton, among others, `are not in this movie') and very little interest in being taken seriously. Warren Beatty covered this turf far more handily in `Bulworth'. With Tamala Jones as his love interest, Robin Givens (cleverly cast as a gold digger) and, unfortunately, only a couple of bits from Tracy Morgan.


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