Election (1999)

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great, fun film, Tracy Flick is a perfect antihero

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Movie Info

Movie Name:  Election

Studio:  MTV Films

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  April 23, 1999

MPAA Rating:  R

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Tracy, you’re freakin’ me out!

Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) has a dream of elected office. She tries to live her dream and has strove for it all of her life…and she’s only in high school. When Tracy finds herself at odds with a popular history teacher named Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), Tracy finds herself in the fight of her life and McAllister discovers his perfect life might not be as good as he thought it was.

Directed by Alexander Payne, Election did well at the box office, but really picked up steam once it hit DVD. It was based on Election by Tom Perrotta with Payne and Jim Taylor adapting the story. The political satire script was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adaptation and Reese Witherspoon was credited for her performance by a many critics.

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Wait, pick what?!?

Election is a smart film. The script is very clever, and it blends well with Payne’s style of shooting. The book combined a popular news story about a pregnant prom queen whose election was denied by teachers, and Ross Perot’s introduction as a third party candidate in 1992 when Bush battled Clinton for the presidency. With a major election as a basis and a tabloid style story combined with it, Election comes out a winner.

With a smart script (that for a main movie feels rather art-house), Election was only aided by a great cast. It is fun to see Matthew Broderick as “the Man” after famously portraying Ferris Bueller the ultimate slacker. Though Tracy is awful, he’s corrupted and destroyed by his decisions…a once good man falls. Chris Klein was discovered by Payne in Omaha during filming and plays a good dumb jock (and of course went on to American Pie). Jessica Campbell as Tammy Metzler is fun as the Ross Perot upset factor in the election and her role was originally planned for Thora Birch who left after disagreements with Payne.

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A vote for Tracy is a vote for progress!

Reese Witherspoon obviously is the star of this film. In Tracy Flick, she made a memorable character that is both evil and sad at the same time. You hate Tracy, her class hates her, but she succeeds…like a ton of politicians. She leads a lonely life and always will lead a lonely life. To Tracy, election means popularity and acceptance, and it isn’t necessarily true. Scenes where she is so happy that she’s been elected (complete with goofy freeze) combine with believable moments of crying.

Election is a great “modern” film. It is fun and full of great characters that stay with you when you finish it. If you can have Christmas movies at Christmastime and horror movies at Halloween time, you should add Election Day movies to your viewing, and Election definitely needs a spot on that list.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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