Will Farrell has made some pretty stupid movies but The Campaign isn’t one of them. This is a movie that actually has something to say.
The Campaign starring Will Farrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, and Dylan McDermott is a satire on today’s politics. With almost every scene you see something familiar whether it is Cam Brady’s (Farrell) hair that is an exact replica of John Edwards’ or Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) homespun philosophy and lack of sophistication all wrapped up as neat as a glass of Southern Comfort.
Cam Brady is a career politician accustomed to running unopposed but when he is involved in a sex scandal (imagine that!) the Motch brothers (as in Koch brothers), sleazily played by John Lithgow and Dan Akroyd, decide to back a naive candidate who can be easily controlled, Marty Huggins. Huggins is an effeminate tour guide, husband and father who wears wild eye-crossing sweaters.
Although The Campaign is meatier than some of Farrell’s other movies it still has some of his trademark physical and slapstick comedy such as when he accidentally punches a baby. When Huggins decides to test Brady’s true conservatism and challenges him to recite the Lord’s Prayer the scene will be long remembered as his campaign manager (Jason Sudeikis) acts out a charades to feed him the lines. One can’t help but laugh as Brady mumbles through the prayer and asks “Give us this day our daily pizza.” Oh Lord, forgive me my trespasses if laughing at this is considered sacrilegious but it is funny. The scene also points out the ridiculous lengths candidates go to today in trying to be a more devout Christian and a better American than the opponent. In fact, Brady’s trademark slogan is “America, Jesus, freedom!”
As the movie continues with one ridiculous incident on top of another a nagging thought persisted—this would be really funny if it weren’t true. The Campaign, directed by Jay Roach of HBO’s political dramas Recount and Game Change, manages to show us how insane our political process has become and does it in a humorous rather than an insulting and shouting way. For a thought-provoking and entertaining evening be sure to see The Campaign.
The Campaign gets my vote—I give it a B+.