Friday, October 13, 2006
Politics as show business pizzazz
By Peter Suderman
Few movies make this as explicit as "Man of the Year," an awkward mix of satire and suspense that stars Robin Williams as a Jon Stewart-like talk show comedian who gets elected president of the United States. Running on a tide of support from the Internet he espouses an anti-political party, anti-special interest group platform of broad, for-the-people populism, and, after a little prodding from his staff, delivers this message with a hefty dose of intentionally comedic snark.
The climactic final speech even occurs on a broadcast of "Saturday Night Live." What we really need to do to fix our political system, the film would have us believe, is cut out all the boring stuff -- you know, like substance and ideas -- and turn government into a laugh parade.