Swing Vote Joshua Michael Stern

Swing Vote Joshua Michael Stern
Swing Vote is an entertaining but forgettable political comedy that pokes light-hearted fun at the absurdity of modern American politics. This isn't a biting satire, with the kid-gloves never coming off and the jokes lobbed at the wider target of the election process, rather than a specific party, person or historical event. Kevin Costner plays Bud Johnson, an average Joe everyman and single father working a factory job in a small town, taking care of his precocious young daughter, Molly (Madeline Carroll). Bud's "regular guy"-ness verges on insulting to working class middle America, as he is ignorant to the point of possible childhood brain trauma, but Costner manages to make Bud's "dumb as a sack of hammers" character as endearing as humanly possible, displaying an underlying good nature that overcomes the offensive intellectual shortcomings. Unlike Bud, Molly is a smart, politically aware kid who wants her dad to vote in the Presidential Election, but when Bud loses his job and drowns his sorrows instead of meeting Molly at the polling place she decides to sneak in and vote for her father illegally. A series of implausible events then take place, resulting in the entire American election resting on Bud's uninformed shoulders. Hilarity ensues as the whole world, including the two Presidential candidates, focuses on Bud's big decision. The disc is light on special features, with a "Making of," some deleted scenes, a commentary track and a music video of Costner's band Modern West performing one of the songs from the movie. The music video is worth checking out, not because it's great music but because Costner, surprisingly and unexpectedly, has a decent singing voice. The relevance of Swing Vote's "please vote" message may have fallen by the wayside since the American elections in November, and the notion that all politicians will say anything to get elected may not have as much bite in the Obamatastic world of the future, but if you're looking for a simple, straightforward comedy, Swing Vote is a viable third-party candidate. (Buena Vista)