Swing Vote

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci. Comedy. Written by Joshua Michael Stern, Jason Richman. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Bud Johnson, an apathetic, beer-slinging, lovable loser, is coasting through a life that has passed him by. The one bright spot is his over-achieving twelve year-old daughter, Molly. She takes care of both of them, until one mischievous moment on Election Day, when she accidentally sets off a chain of events that culminates in the election coming down to one vote... her dad's.

PREVIEW REVIEW: With all the rest of the megaplex theaters occupied by comic-book super heroes flinging CGI monsters about, its kind of nice to see a film that attempts to amuse and move audiences with dialogue, character development and story. Its as close as weve come to satire in quite a while. And it contains what is going to become one of my favorite lines of all time. Molly admonishes her dad for his profanity, telling him hes got to stop using Jesus name as a cuss word: Hes a billion peoples Savior, you know! Hope the rest of Hollywood is listening to that one.

Im still in the dark about how such a voting phenomenon could happen, but it sets up some clever satire about ethics, responsibility and what its going to take to restore Americas greatness. (If that is to be.) The question is raised by films end, If America is the wealthiest nation on earth, how come no one can afford to live here?

The grownups all do well, but young Madeline Carroll steals every scene shes in. Shes not precocious or the typical smart-mouth writers usually settle on to relay a kid characters intelligence. Ms. Carroll has a true screen presence, expressive eyes, vulnerability and honesty. Well be seeing a lot more of this youngster.

Fly in the ointment: the first line out of Costners mouth contains Gods name followed by a curse. He uses the profanity several times throughout, often in front of his daughter. Of course, hes a bum until he sees the light, so his cursing is supposed to be one of his character flaws. But the 4th Commandment in Exodus 20 doesnt give moviemakers allowance to break the rule. What a frustration for a movie buff who also happens to be a Christian, as that profane expression or the use of Jesus name as a mere expletive tends to ruin the movie experience.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of off color jokes

Obscene Language: Around 20 obscenities, mostly the s- and f-words; around six minor expletives

Profanity: Around 10 profane uses of Gods name or Christs.

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: The lead is a heavy drinker until he straightens out his life.

Other: None

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Older

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