Swing Vote - Blu-ray
AndyO review: * * 1/2
The idea of Swing Vote is a good one: What would happen if a presidential election came down to one person's vote? In this case, that person is Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), a kind of village idiot who's in way over his head but is too dumb to know it. Part of this character works, but in the end I found him too simpleminded and stereotypical. If he'd been less of an "ugly American," this could have been a much more interesting (and perhaps great) film.
While it's funny to watch the two presidential candidates cater to Bud's comments (the conservative candidate abruptly moves to support Gays and Lesbians in the military), it's too far-fetched to suspend disbelief. The two advisors to each candidate, Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane, have the thankless role of pushing their candidate where they don't want to go -- another cliche that could have been written in a less melodramatic way.
Of course the great find in this film is Madeline Carroll, who plays Johnson's daughter Molly. She's been forced to grow up and become wise beyond her years -- thanks to her two immature, self-centered parents. And in many ways the film is about her and the way her integrity changes the other characters.
In the end, I'm left thinking about what this film might have been like under the direction of Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing TV show and the film The American President. We'll never know.
Kevin Costner, Paula Patton, Dennis Hopper, Stanley Tucci, Judge Reinhold, Richard Petty,