28 August, 2008

"Election" Film Review


Loved this movie. I first watched Election when it first came out, which was about nine years ago. Clearly, I was too young to understand the brilliance of it. But now, with my oh-so cynical views, tremendous life experience, and high school diploma (what? sarcasm! where?), I’ve learned to better appreciate this movie.

Election is a 1999 film by Alexander Payne based on a novel with a same name by Tom Perrota. The film’s story focuses on a high school teacher named Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) and his frustrations with an over-zealous, over-achieving, ultra-manipulative student named Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon).

I gotta say, Reese Witherspoon was brilliant. She stole every scene she was in, and even though you just wanted to slap her silly or shake her really hard, she was still able to get you to sympathize with her. I loved, loved the scene where she was jumping up and down the hallway, and when the camera froze and panned to her face, frickin priceless moment. There were rumors that Witherspoon had a hard time getting parts after this film, because many thought that she portrayed a lot about herself as Tracy Flick. I guess she was just that good of an actor, and apparently other people thought so too because she got a Golden Globe nomination for this role.

Matthew Broderick’s character Jim McAllister was initially bland, but then I realized that he was supposed to be bland. I think that the moment when McAllister got duped by the vending machine is the epitome of what his character represents. I’m extremely glad that he eventually got his quasi-happily ever after in the end.

Chris Klein was lovable as the intellectually stupidest, yet most morally mature Paul Metzler. Jessica Campbell played Tammy Metzler, Paul’s sister. Tammy mostly just did whatever the hell she wanted, I suppose her most admirable quality is that…she did whatever the hell she wanted.

Overall, Election is a treat to watch. It’s hilarious, witty, and continuously interesting. Positively one of the greatest high school films around.