Election 2012 :: Did Life Imitate Art – Cast Your Vote for These ‘Election’ Movies

Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick Star in their own vicious ‘Election’!

by Shannonn Kelly
06:30AM, EST, November 09, 2012

When I found out a few days ago that Sarah Jessica Parker hosted a dinner for Barack Obama in her west village home that she lives in with husband Matthew Broderick, it reminded me of one of my favorite ‘Election’ themed movies, efficiently titled, “Election” (1999).

It stars Broderick as a soon to be stressed out high-school teacher Mr. McAllister, who’s life gets turned upside down by his involvement in the school election and seething hatred for Tracey Flick, a manipulative, self-centered senior running for class president played by Reese Witherspoon.

Alexander Payne (“Sideways” (2002), “The Descendants” (2011) ) and Jim Taylor adapted the screenplay from the novel by Tom Perotta and directed by Payne.

This film is so funny and so vicious when it comes to the ethics of politics. The cinematography is at times hilarious, especially when the editor decides to freeze frame some of the shots with Witherspoon.

This movie brings me to my question: In Tuesday’s Election, did Life Imitate Art? Did the scenarios from ‘real life’ play out better during this election season or in the movies below. What ‘Election’ movie is your favorite? Cast your Vote!

Head of State” (2003)

A Black President: Chris Rock stars as DC city councilman Mays Gilliam, who rises in the polls after his brother Mitch (played by deceased Bernie Mac) who persuades Mays to speak out for what he believes in on issues such as welfare, money, society, etc. So, when a presidential candidate unexpectedly dies in the middle of the campaign, Mays is picked as his replacement.

The American President (1995)

An Presiden for Women: Michael Douglas stars as sitting Democratic president Andrew Shepard who has to deflect every nasty thing said about him by Republican presidential candidate Bob Rumson (played by Richard Dreyfuss). Women love him. However, the fact that he’s a widower, makes potential voters (Republican) nervous. What does he know about family values…? Shepard starts to woo a lobbyist played by Annette Bening. Rumson does his best to make it seem that the president can’t run a country if he’s out chasing skirt. Interestingly, Martin Sheen is also in this film and we know he moved onto to play a ‘real life’ president on TV in the “West Wing”.

Napoleon Dynamite” (2004)

Birthers Beware: An outcast teenager helps his new exchange student friend Pedro Sanchez (Efren Ramirez – “Vote for Pedro”) win the class presidency against popular girl Summer Wheatley (played by Haylie Duff). Pedro gets the upset and Napolean dances to a packed auditorium of voters.

Black Sheep” (1996)

Gift From God: A gubernatorial candidate Al Donnelly (Tim Matheson) hires slimey special assistant Steve Dodds (David Spade) whose only job is to make sure his well-meaning but incompetent brother Mike (played by the late Chris Farley) doesn’t ruin the election by saying stupid things that will upset the voters. Enter Republican candidates Todd “legitimate rape” Akin and Richard “Gift From God” Mourdock.

The Candidate” (1972)

Obama 2008: Peter Boyle plays Marvin Lucas, a political election specialist, who wants to find a Democratic candidate to unseat a popular Republican candidate. Enter Robert Redford plays Bill McKay, son of popular former Democratic California governor John J. McKay (played by Melvyn Douglas (“Being There”) ). McKay Jr. decides to challenge the Republican Senator by running a campaign where he talks only about his views on the ‘real issues’ such as poverty, society and race relations.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939)
One Man’s Effect on American Politics: This movie gets my Vote every time…

4 Replies to “Election 2012 :: Did Life Imitate Art – Cast Your Vote for These ‘Election’ Movies”

  1. For me, #1 is “Mr. Smith”, and #2 is “The Candidate”, which is based on the 1970 CA senatorial election when Democrat John Tunney defeated song-and-dance-man Republican George Murphy (he of the eponymous song by Tom Lehrer). Tunney was not stellar – in fact, he was a one-term non-wonder, known more for his off-the-floor life than on, and was voted out and replaced by S.I “Sam” Hayakawa, former president of San Francisco State University (making his name during the late 1960s with his responses to the student strikes).

    1. Hello! Thanks for checking into ShannonnKelly.com.

      I Googled Senator Tunney and was very surprised to find out a piece of information about him that in a million years I never would have guessed. He’s the son of famous boxer Gene Tunney and is now the same age as his father was before he died. I’m a boxing enthusiast. Who knew we’d chat about politics and boxing in the same blog. I learned something today. I love when that happens. Thank U

    1. Hello Kristen: Thanks for checking into ShannonnKelly.com.

      YES, with all the undecided voters in Election 2012 “Swing Vote” should have absolutely been included in my list. It fit right in with the theme of whether or not real life imitated art in this election. Many people in this election did feel their vote really counted this time.
      Topical. Timely. Your comment gets my Vote 😉

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