by Michael Bergeron
As clever and occasionally scathing as Jon Stewart’s sophomore directorial effort “Irresistible” can be, it in no way can compete with the modern day surreal comic reality of the 2020 Presidential re-election campaign.
“Irresistible” stars Steve Carell and Rose Byrne as high profile political consultants who converge on a small conservative Wisconsin town to influence the outcome in a mayoral election. The flick was shot in Georgia.
Chris Cooper and Mackenzie Davis shine in supporting roles as the outspoken candidate and his daughter.
Before I get into the film proper the title needs some explanation. There is none.
Admittedly, coming up with a brilliant title for a movie ain’t easy especially in the case of a politically based comedy that demands a certain amount of sophistication to understand the machinations of why is should be funny.
There was a 1994 comedy called “Speechless” starring Michael Keaton and Geena Davis that was essentially a watered down version of “Irresistible” but at least it had a title that reflected an aspect of its environment.
Sorry, but “Irresistible” sounds like the sobriquet of a pop song. You find my reason for living disgusting but you love me anyway becomes the spine of the relation between Carell and Byrne as they jockey for their respective candidates.
The whole grudge fuck aspect betwixt political operatives adds whatever spice can be swallowed. But after a promising beginning “Irresistible,” submits the barest of reasons to like the proceedings; mainly the chance to satirize concepts like Super PACS and demographic gerrymandering.
As many jokes score as those that slide down the wall upon which they were flung.
There is a sub genre of films I called princess films – movies made for 10-year-old girls. Disney specializes in this kind of fare, for instance “The Game Plan.”
Instead of The Rock and his eight-year-old daughter, “My Spy” offers Dave Bautista as a CIA asset who befriends an equally young protégé, in this case the precocious daughter of a woman his team has under surveillance.
There are some cutesy moments involving walking away from explosions in slow motion. Adults will be bored; kids will be enthralled.
There are so many films that should’ve been released by now in theaters that have been pushed to future to-be-determined dates with the end result that there haven’t been a whole lot of movies this year that could be deemed great.
So when a professionally made movie debuts via streaming the hosannas can be overwhelming despite whatever mediocrity is on display.
“Irresistible” (from Focus Features) and “My Spy” (Amazon Studios) are available for streaming beginning Friday, June 26. Both were scheduled for theatrical runs earlier in the year and may pop up in whatever few theaters are actually open at this time.
- “Irresistible”: https://youtu.be/0vhaAoSm1NY
- “My Spy”: https://youtu.be/dFGYK-iRMgw