The Ten Worst Films of 2012 (#9)


I'm all for political satire. When it's done right, it produces some of the best comedy out there. But ONLY when it's done right.

Early on in the film, Jennifer Garner's character asks the viewing audience if they were aware that more people watched the butter carving competition in Iowa than the Super Bowl. The answer: "No, of course you didn't. How could you with the liberal media as biased as it is?"

This "joke," Garner's accent and her character's overall composition are all supposed to produce easy laughs from us because we get that she's doing her own Sarah Palin impersonation. But it just isn't funny. In fact, it feels like yesterday's news.

I have no problem with people poking fun at Palin, but not if it means they just recycle old gags that were fresh four years ago. And that's how the movie generally plays out: like a stale joke that might have made a better impression during the 2008 election.

The normally talented cast on hand here is also wasted.

Ty Burrell is just playing the same guy he always plays on Modern Family. Hugh Jackman can't make the totally inept car salesman thing work. It feels like his character was just thrown in as an afterthought. Rob Cordry is occasionally on the verge of being funny, but it never happens.

And then there's Olivia Wilde. I got the impression she was supposed to be the best thing about this. Her character is outrageous. She does things (including other people) for basically no reason, and she delivers what should have been memorable one-liners. But the opposite proved true. She was easily the most aggravating.

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