Irresistible Simply Isn’t So: Movie Review

Irresistible Simply Isn’t So: Movie Review
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Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins has been a reporter with Oakville News since 2016. Covering local news and live events, he specializes in film, theatre, and entertainment. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. Tyler is a proud graduate of Journalism and Performing Arts from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Former Daily Show host and political comedian extraordinaire Jon Stewart has made a quirky movie about a mayoral election in Wisconsin. While Irresistible is a passably fun film to watch, it isn’t as important as it could be. And it’s not hard to overlook it, either.

Irresistible follows Gary, a national Democratic strategist (Steve Carrell) trying to help a local candidate become mayor in a small Republican town. That candidate is Col. Jack Hastings (a seriously funny Chris Cooper), a marine corps vet with deep passion.

The trouble really starts when Gary’s Republican arch-nemesis (Rose Byrne) arrives to back the local incumbent. But as the election grows in scale and national attention, it turns out there’s an ulterior motive to why each candidate wants to win.

For a comedy, it’s not very funny. There are a few real winners, but generally it’s too serious to be comedic. Only the quick banter quips from the talented cast provide humour. Stewart could’ve got a lot zanier and wild to make it truly funny.

Photo: Universal Pictures

Much of the film has a quaint simplicity to it, much like the life in small town Wisconsin. Not every moment in the final cut is necessary, but accurately depicts what life is like in heartland America.

(We maybe didn’t need, for instance, 45 seconds of Carell eating a homemade strudel. But I also wasn’t upset we got to see how much he enjoyed the it.)

One of the few guaranteed laughs is a series of increasingly ridiculous political ads mocking American TV election commercials. But the final 15 minutes of the movie post-election is by far the best part. Better still is learning who actually becomes mayor.

Like some politicians, Irresistible has a hidden agenda

That’s mainly because Stewart’s main thesis is asking who the winners and losers are in bankrolled elections. Are the bad guys really the other political party? Or as Col. Jack suggests, is it the craziness of the amount of money being spent on turning candidates into deities instead of improving the town itself?

Gary’s asked at a moment of crisis, “Is this politics?” His response about the election is telling: “It’s not politics. It’s just math. That’s all an election is – it’s math.” Gary’s right when he continues saying, if you can’t get more people to vote for your guy, you do whatever you can to make sure the other guy gets less.

Calling Irresistible a comedy maybe sets the standards too high. If you look at this small-town comedy as a political satire experiment being done by Hollywood heavyweights, you’ll enjoy it a lot more.

It’s not a bad movie. It’s just not funny enough. And it could’ve been a lot more exciting with a few more touches. Stewart clearly worked hard. His vision does have a satisfying payoff at the end.

Maybe that’s just politics though – you can’t expect a perfect candidate.


5 out of 10
14A, 1hr 41mins. Comedy Drama.
Written and Directed by Jon Stewart.
Starring Steve Carrell, Chris Cooper, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace and Rose Byrne.
Now playing at the 5 Drive-In and available for PVOD rental across various services.


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