year: 2006
cast: Robin Williams, Laura Linney, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum
writer/director: Barry Levinson
rating: *

Director Barry Levinson ran for president. Everything he believes in is here, and his mouthpiece is Robin Williams. Or is it the other way around? I know Barry wrote the script, but I'm still not sure how much was ad-libbed. Not enough to merit a good movie, or a decent premise, which builds shit-through-a-goose-quick during the opening credits: a Bill Maher/Jon Stewart type talk show host is told by an audience member he should run for President of the United States. He does, and wins. Kinda. Williams' hyperactive stand-up routines, one happening spontaneously during a planned Presidential debate, are nearly impossible to hear, and maybe that's good because what is audible isn't funny. A side-story involving a woman (and possible love-interest) who knows too much about a computer-voting glitch becomes the main focus, and Levinson juggles his dull documentarian-style comedy with a Redford-esque seventies-era political espionage drama, and fails miserably on both counts - at the same time.

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