I was excited about this movie because of the cast (Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright) and the concept. By, I think my expectations were to high.
When ever I think of political drama, election drama, dialogue driven drama, I think of Aaron Sorkin. Well, this movie was no Aaron Sorkin drama. But, if I measure it alone, it was a pretty good movie. Great story and great message. It is becoming the oldest story in the book.
Young idealistic and “media smart” Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is quite the patriot. “I’m not a Christian. I’m not an Atheist. I’m not Jewish. I’m not Muslim. My religion, what I believe in is called the Constitution of United States of America.”
He feels like he has finally found a presidential candidate in Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) that can and will change America.
Even the media love him. – “All the reporters love you. Even the reporters that hate you still love you.”
Morris is dedicated to running a clean campaign, no mudslinging, no negative campaign ads and no offering cabinet positions to people he doesn’t respect in order to get votes.
Everyone around him had “drunk the kool aid” and even his wife was in on it. That was the part that really threw me because they have this really great scene with him and his wife riding in a car. She is resting her head on his shoulder while he is making notes on a speech. She looks at him in her best “My husband is the greatest man in the world” look and then begins to try and convince him to make a deal with someone he doesn’t like in order to win the election. Using the same argument that his campaign managers made on him earlier. He refuses to make the deal and refrains from telling her off. Just gives her an uncomfortable giggle and then kisses her on her forehead.
Big spoiler alert, Clooney’s character isn’t what he appears. He breaks the cardinal rule that all presidents since Clinton must adhere to, DON’T SLEEP WITH AN INTERN! Anyway, the intern gets pregnant. And, she ends up either accidentally or on purpose, od’ing on pills and dies.
The young idealist finds he has to turn into what he hates in order to save his own ass and perhaps the election as well. He orchestrates it pretty brilliantly.
At the beginning of this movie you really like everyone. All the characters seem like good people. But, by the end of the movie, everyone one seems a little seedy. Even the young intern.
While the writing wasn’t what I was expecting, two lines stood out to me and really made me enjoy this movie.
“We’re going to be fine. We have to do it and it’s the right thing to do. And, nothing bad happens when your doing the right thing.” – Ryan Gosling in Ides of March – While he still feels like they can concur the world because they are the good guys.
Then, . . .
“Cause you broke the only rule in politics. You want to be president? You can start a war, you can lie, you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country. But you can’t fuck the interns.” – Ryan Gosling – Really great line and it was delivered by Ryan Gosling’s character beautifully. Needless to say by this time, his idealism has been shaken.
If you like these actors, they will live up to your expectations as actors, but in comparison to other political dramas, it misses the mark.