I went to see Man of the Year with my sister-in-law today. She has 4 kids aged 6 or younger, so when Loki offered to babysit her kids*, she jumped at the chance.
Ordinarily, I would not spend my movie dollars on a movie like Man of the Year. Since money is tight and movies are expensive, you have to balance the pros and cons before you spend your cash.
Man of the Year CONS: Robin Williams, silly premise, Robin Williams.
Man of the Year PROS: Loki enjoyed it, Laura Linney.
SIL was quite keen to see it, so we went.
It was not quite what I expected. I expected that we would see Robin Williams being Robin Williams as he ran a campaign for president. I expected that it would start off as a joke, and he would get serious as the campaign went on. I expected that his opponent would be and evil politician, or at least have a Karl Rove-esque character working for him.
Instead, it was a third Robin Williams being Robin Williams, a third of a mildly tense thriller, and a third of me wondering why they hired so many actors who didn't say a single word. So Robin Williams was in the movie I was expecting, but turned on it's head: he started off as a comedian running a serious campaign, but became funnier and goofier as the race went on. Laura Linney, however, was in a tense political thriller, where people were breaking into her house and injecting her with drugs, and running her over when she's in a phone booth.
Things I liked: The Republican running in the three way race for the presidency got 0 electoral votes. Lewis Black was entertaining. I genuinely cared about what was happening to Laura Linney's character. I liked some of the political issues the movie brought up: the absolute essential importance of maintaining the integrity of the vote; how easy it is to screw with an election when there is no paper trail; that politicians who are beholden to corporate interests cannot have the best interests of their constituents in mind; how out of control expensive it is to mount a credible campaign.
Things I didn't like: While they brought up the subject of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the the vote, they also didn't have anyone nefarious who was deliberately trying to affect the outcome - instead, it was just a computer glitch. Also, when people found out about the incorrect election results, everyone seemed to agree they should just go forward with the incorrect results and fix the computer glitch later. They hired all these pretty people who were on screen for half the movie but maybe only had one line! I don't get it. And the juxtaposition of silly comedy/political thriller was just weird.
I don't have any sort of rating, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see this movie in the theater.
*Is he the best brother, or what?