2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 6: The Campaign (2012)

DAY 6. POLL PLOT: One that involves elections and/or voting.* Government not required.

While the election is something I try to avoid every single morning, I do have to say that The Election is a movie that continually makes me happy. Sure, it’s a big dumb Hollywood comedy, but it’s filled with just enough abject stupidity to make me laugh. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is a five-time North Carolina Congressman, running unopposed when he leaves an explicit message for one of his supporters on her family’s answering machine, throwing his candidacy into question. Soon, he has an opponent — Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), who is the tourism director for the town of Hammond. Marty isn’t really made for the political machine, but thanks to the nefarious Motch Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow) and their ruthless campaign expert Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott), soon the race is on.

Cam is a mess, either drunk driving or punching babies while Marty is a hapless fool. At heart, they’re both good men who have been pulled through the political machine, forced to become things that they don’t want to be.

Jay Roach went from films like Austin Powers to this and finally Bombshell, which takes the humor of this and adds it to a true — well, mostly — story. The script, taken from a story by Adam McKay and written by Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell, is on the right side of clever versus stupid, which is continually the finest of barriers.

A native of North Carolina, Galifianakis’ uncle Nick had been a State Representative, yet lost the 1972 Senate election to Jesse Helms. Much of this comedy comes from truth, which is always the right place.

I also find it fascinating that Dan Aykroyd’s career has taken him from playing Louis Winthorpe III to now basically being one of the Duke brothers.

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