Feature

Man of the Year

A TV comedian sticks it to the real politicians by running for president.

Man of the Year is the kind of movie that happens 'œwhen great premises go wrong,' said Claudia Puig in USA Today. Robin Williams is Tom Dobbs, a TV comedian like Jon Stewart or Bill Maher, but lacking in wit. As a publicity stunt, he and his wingmen (Christopher Walken and Lewis Black) decide to launch a presidential campaign. But instead of just joking around, Dobbs starts being candid with the people, and he unexpectedly wins the election. It's a clever idea'”a sort of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with a twist'”but it's executed in such a toothless, unfunny way that it makes Al Gore's campaign look like a laugh riot. What's worse, the laughs are provided on-screen by reaction shots of voters in hysterics, said Phoebe Flowers in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. That movie equivalent of a laugh track would be infuriating 'œif the whole endeavor weren't so energy-suckingly dull.' What happened to the Barry Levinson who made Wag the Dog, a political comedy with purpose? This movie does have something relevant to impart, even if it's accidental, said Rene Rodriguez in The Miami Herald. As soon as Dobbs is elected, the film simply 'œruns out of ideas,' like a politician who's great at campaigning, but has no knack for policy.

Rating: PG-13

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