STARRING: STEVE CARELL; ROSE BYRNE; MACKENZIE DAVIS; CHRIS COOPER
DIRECTED BY: JON STEWART
AMovieGuy.com's RATING: 1 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
Irresistible is trying to take a comedic bite out of the American political system, but instead of serving a hearty meal of laughs, this is more like choking on a freezing cold piece of steak. I've seen highs and lows for comedy during the presidency of Donald “bone spurs” Trump, and when dealing with the constantly horrific realities of his Twitter vitriol and efforts to always divide with politics, I hoped to have some relief from it all in the voice of The Daily Show legend Jon Stewart. Sadly, Irresistible is an incredible failure of satire, highlighting everything that is wrong with politics today, and subsequently missing the entire point of comedy. I think the problem is that our politics are just not funny anymore. The system, the people involved, what we've experienced for the last four years, all of it is incredibly broken. Nobody is laughing that our president uses racist terms on a daily basis, during a pandemic that has killed thousands of people, during a time when racial divides are constant. And if they do laugh, then they might have some deeper seeded issues. It's clear that nobody likes one another and instead of ever seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, the days have only been darker. Irresistible thinks there is something funny to say about politics, the money injected into campaigns, and the people involved. Instead, this is the kind of movie you should resist like the plague.
I won't blame Jon Stewart for taking a shot at this, he wrote the screenplay for Irresistible, and obviously has a history of handling politics in America, but maybe he's just been out of the game too long? The main character, Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) is a democratic political strategist, embarrassed and formerly associated with Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. His enemy on the other side is Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), a less hypocritical version of Kellyann Conway, but with some finesse. After Zimmer experienced his shameful defeat, he goes back to the drawing board, looking for the next up and coming democratic centrist to heal our country. He finds that in Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), a small-town farmer in Nebraska, former marine, and internet sensation, when a video of him speaking his mind at a town-hall goes viral. Zimmer convinces Jack to run for mayor and what follows is the big city D.C. strategist fish in a little country pond. It's all supposed to be funny, but instead its just cheap shots, expressing how liberals can't survive in small towns or how small town people are too stupid to understand how a political campaign even works. Irresistible is trying to make fun of politics, instead it's just depressing and produces zero laughs.
The failures of Irresistible highlight an increasing problem with movies trying to have an edge or say something about our political climate. It began with Adam McKay's Vice, which had the all-star cast of actors to coast to oscar gold, but condemned voters more than the power hungry war criminal Dick Cheney. The Hunt was a daring attempt at a liberals vs. conservatives version of the deadliest game. The plot alone sparked conservatives and our president to be offended, without even seeing it, causing it to be censored, and removed from theaters. It was all for naught, because The Hunt is more offensive to liberals than conservatives, and even then the bark is worse than the bite. Now with Irresistible, it is incredibly out of touch with humanity. I'll put things into context, in a scene where Carell's Zimmer shows up to the small town in Nebraska and completely shuts down as a functioning human with a brain. Get it? He's a liberal, so venturing into a small town, he can't possibly understand the concept that his room at the only lodge in town wouldn't have an espresso machine...liberals am I right? Woof.
The examples like this go on and on in Irresistible. Carell's performance is coasting and Rose Byrne is once again underused. There are mini bits of fake CNN or Fox News segments, which only highlight how painfully partisan politics can be, while also lacking in any true joke. Stewart saves a twist ending that attempts to throw a dagger into the heart of the broken political system, but instead takes out the knees of a broken system that we are stuck with. If Irresistible achieves anything, it is that it shows we might never dig out of the hole that American politics are in. There are two sides, in a system with too much money, where both sides hate one another, and we may never laugh again. If our movies continue like Irresistible we might never laugh at all.
1 ½ STARS
Written by: Leo Brady