The political climate in the United States has been more volatile than I have ever seen before. Potential candidates are spending millions and millions of dollars to win any election they can and it honestly seems to be getting out of control as the country becomes more divided. But where does that leave the small-town folks who just want to be able to pay their bills and put food on the table…the hardworking people of this country who watch this political tennis match while wondering what's in it for them? Comedian Jon Stewart (The Daily Show), who tends to speak up for the "little guy" (at least the left-leaning ones), has written and directed a movie called Irresistible that shows just how insane our political system really is right now.
In a small Wisconsin town military veteran Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper; Adaptation) is recorded giving a powerful speech at a town hall meeting asking Mayor Braun (Brent Sexton; The Belko Experiment) to consider all the people in town when handing out government assistance, not just those with proper identification. The video catches the eye of top Democratic strategist, Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell; The Office) who is still reeling from the 2016 presidential campaign loss.
Zimmer decides that in order to win back the country, the Democratic party has to gather a stronghold in the heartland states. He goes to Wisconsin to try and convince Hastings to run for mayor as a Democrat. Hastings will only agree if Zimmer, himself, will run the campaign. This little town race suddenly comes to the attention of the Republican party who sends their top strategist, Zimmer's nemesis, Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne; Neighbors), to back Mayor Braun for re-election. Hastings finds himself flying to New York to convince wealthy donors to donate money to his campaign as Zimmer and Brewster, who has a love/hate relationship, go head to head to get their candidate elected.
Carell and Byrne have good enough chemistry together to pull off the love/ hate relationship (more hate than love) but the real star is Cooper who makes these simple yet impassioned speeches written by Stewart. Sexton is fine as the Mayor but doesn't play against any stereotype. Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate) is cast as Hastings' daughter Diana and she is alternately out of place/right at home in the small Wisconsin town.
Stewart's script is just ok and probably could have used a little "tweaking" but he directs the story well (probably because he wrote it and had a single vision). The movie isn't so much of a comedy as it is a dramedy with very many laugh out loud moments. However, I smiled throughout most of the film and the unexpected ending had me thinking, "good for them". Irresistible is exactly in Stewart's wheelhouse, taking not so subtle jabs at our political system with a great big f*%$ you at the end. I would expect no less from the man who continually fights for healthcare for 911 first responders and has had (usually) an intelligent opinion on almost every topic as witnessed for sixteen years on The Daily Show.
Irresistible is a cute, little film not without flaws but the overall feeling you get while watching it helps you to forgive and forget those flaws. While satirical in nature, the messages Stewart is trying to get across slap you in the face like a wet fish. As only Stewart can, he is telling us this Country is badly broken and the whole slate needs to be wiped clean in order for things to truly change. If you enjoyed Stewart on The Daily Show, you will get what Carell, Byrne, Copper, and Davis have been tasked with telling you, and the ending will give you a chuckle and put a smile on your face. The only thing I can't figure out is why they went with the title, Irresistible.