Film Review – Irresistible

Irresistible (M)

Directed by: Jon Stewart

Starring: Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Former The Daily Show writer and host Jon Stewart takes aim at small towns, American politics and election campaigns in his second feature film, the political satire Irresistible.

After the results of the US 2016 election, Democratic Party strategist Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) is defeated and desperate.

When he sees the viral video of farmer and retired Marine Colonel Jack Hastings’ (Chris Cooper) progressive speech supporting undocumented immigrants in his hometown of Deerlaken, Wisconsin, Gary sees a golden opportunity.

Gary heads there to convince Jack to run for the mayoral election as a Democrat; Gary’s plan is to finally get the edge over the Republican state in the next Presidential election.

However, Republican strategist Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) gets wind of Gary’s plan and heads there herself and the mayoral campaign heats up.

Jon Stewart turns his eye to some fairly obvious targets – the relentless strategists, their sneaky spin on facts and small minded, small town folks. His satire is spot on but his claws are dulled, playing it fairly safe with humour set to appeal to the masses and doing his best to not offend those he aims at.

That is not to say that Irresistible isn’t at times extremely funny, particularly with Carell and Byrne in top notch form as the political nemeses, going to sneakier and sleazier lengths to one-up each other for the most votes. The two are a terrific match.

Stewart does have a couple of tricks up his sleeve with some expectation-defying twists that serve as pleasant surprises but are dropped so late in the game that they are left without room to explore further.

Timely, consistently amusing and well-performed, Irresistible is the kind of satire that takes jabs at its targets but with an apologetic tone.

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