Recount Jay Roach

Recount Jay Roach
Everyone who remembers the trio of villains ("Nerds of Doom”) from the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be pleased to see that Jonathan (sans magic bone) has stopped dating Paris Gellar and written a fairly taut little political dramedy about the 2000 electoral Florida recount between Al Gore and George W. Bush. It’s just a shame that Andrew and Anya couldn’t have had wheelchair fights in the middle of the U.S. Supreme court. Danny Strong’s script pins Ron Klain (Kevin Spacey), a Democratic Party insider and Al Gore staffer, as a do-gooder protagonist fighting an evil Republican regime, including the partisan Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (Laura Dern), Bush supporter James Baker (Tom Wilkinson) and Secretary of State Warren Christopher (John Hurt), during the 2000 election recount. From biased court cases to recount follies and delays based on degree of election card indentation, the film explores the many errors and problems that occurred during that 36-day period. Recount is entirely biased, offering only typical Liberal condescension where Democrats are sincere but powerless and Republicans are uneducated, fanatical and simplistically evil. While not too far from the truth, it ultimately leaves the film preaching to an already converted choir and lacking the much-needed depth that would make it memorable and challenging. Not helping the cause are somewhat cartoon-ish, but entirely amusing, performances from both Laura Dern and Ed Begley Jr., who latch onto the campier aspects of their real life characters, giving the film an awkward comic vibe that isn’t entirely appropriate. The DVD includes conversations between Kevin Spacey and the real life Ron Klain, as well as one between Bob Balaban and the real life Ben Ginsberg. Both of these brief discussions are essentially an opportunity for Spacey and Balaban to smile politely while their counterparts deliver rehearsed speeches about their political viewpoints and perspectives in relation to the events following the 2000 election. A behind-the-scenes featurette is included also, which features the director, writer and actors essentially congratulating themselves and each other for being oh-so-talented. Plus: commentary. (Warner)