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Is ‘Swing Vote’ condescending?
Kevin Costner stars as a politically clueless, beer-swilling guy named Bud.
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wing Vote portrays ordinary Americans as “stupid, drunk, apathetic, or all of the above,” said Lisa Schwarzbaum in Entertainment Weekly. The movie, which opens this weekend, stars Kevin Costner as a politically clueless, beer-swilling guy named Bud whose vote will decide the presidential election. It's clear director Joshua Michael Stern isn’t laughing with the Buds of the world, but at them.

Actually, Swing Vote offers a rare “consideration of Red State American political action,” said Armond White in the New York Press. The movie’s “middle-of-the-road stance supplies what’s obviously been missing from liberal media’s condescension to fly-over-states America—the respect Borat withheld is apparent in Costner’s careful characterization.”

Swing Vote “nicely boils down America’s political malaise to one man’s awakening from a Budweiser stupor,” said Roger Moore in the Detroit Free Press. But “it’s too preachy in the end, too profane to be family-friendly,” and “a little too soft to be edgy.”

It’s also a little too “cute” to take seriously, said Maryann Johanson in the Colorado Springs Independent. Are we really supposed to believe that America isn’t too far gone already, “that one-man-one-vote really is something akin to, well, maybe nine innings of baseball on a glorious summer’s day”?

The premise of Swing Vote is “so thoroughly absurd that it’s actually pretty easy to swallow,” said Tom Long in The Mercury News, “sort of like a guy dressing up like a bat to fight criminals.” And what’s wrong with a movie that “wants to offer some good laughs as it’s pushing you toward the ballot box”?

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