Swing Vote

SWING VOTE

Well, ain’t this something, every vote does count! And of course it comes down to this reject of the Capra Character School to cast it. What you get is Kevin Costner playing an offensive version of the beer guzzling, truck driving, factory working man that he is trying to represent; lots of schmaltz, and what basically amounts to a message movie packaged up ever so sweetly for you. Luckily you get the beautiful Paula Patton to look at, but she is mostly wasted, and all too often, left off camera.

This film does have it’s funny moments. It’s was enjoyable enough, if a bit long. What were some of those moments you ask? I don’t know, I can’t remember. They weren’t very memorable. They were forgettable.

I do know that the film basically amounts to two big moments, and almost inexplicably (but luckily for lazy screenwriters) the viewer is granted neither of these two moments. The first is the debate, where a much reformed Kevin Costner has now learned just how important his decision really is! So he calls for a debate where HE speaking as US gets to ask questions. He even gives a beautiful little speech about being ashamed and then all that he has learned. His questions, and the answers…well, I don’t know. The camera cranes up and fades out. That’s right. No debate. We do get to watch Costner drive a race car earlier in the film however.

The second moment is the big decision. Who will he vote for? Will it be Frasier Crane, or whoever it is he is playing now, or will it be Dennis Hopper? I’m just voting that Paula Patton gets her due in a movie that doesn’t require the sweaty look of “Precious.” But these filmmakers have a dilemma. You see, while Costner is learning, so are the two Presidential candidates! Wow! So, they actually both become decent people by movie’s end, just as they have helped Costner become a decent person. So now we have a bunch of decent people and decent people don’t like to see unfortunate people lose! And elections have losers! But Costner is a nice guy, and he is, in effect about to decide the loser. What to do? Why, that’s easy, as he enters the ballot box, swell the music, fade out and end the movie. Since Costner isn’t a real character, this wasn’t a character study and it IS important, who he votes for. It’s what the movie has been leading up to.

Wait…did I just spoil the ending of the movie for you? Good. Now you have no reason to see it.

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