WHICH of these three Ps would rate as the most decisive vote-winner in American politics – personality, performance or policy?
According to political comedy The Campaign, even the dumbest candidate can win over apathetic voters and pull off the unlikeliest victory.
It simply comes down to personality – big corporate bucks and a savvy spin team perform an extreme makeover that has the improbable contender go from zero to hero.
In The Campaign, fourth-term North Carolina congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) takes a tumble in the polls after one sexual indiscretion too many.
When the cashed-up Motch brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow) seize an opportunity to knock Cam out of the race, they nominate a rival, Marty Huggins, the director of the local tourism centre.
Pudgy Marty is everything a congressman shouldn’t be in the eyes of gun-toting, red-neck North Carolinians; an effeminate pacifist and proud-as-punch owner of twin pugs.
The Motch brothers fund an overhaul – the pugs make way for more masculine breeds, business suits replace the woolly cardigans, and the family home is kitted out in gun and whiskey cabinets.
The Campaign could have gone down as a brilliant political satire with its subtle stabs at Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, but the script loses control and its sharp edge, instead hamming it up with lowbrow, gross-out gags.
The Campaign (MA15+)
Directed by: Jay Roach
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis
Reviewed by: Emilia Vranjes.