Man of the Year

Grade: A+

Cast: Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Lewis Black

Director: Barry Levinson

Rated PG-13 for language including some crude sexual references, drug related material, and brief violence

Running time

Universal Pictures/Morgan Creek

In this timely comedic thriller by Barry Levinson, Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) political humorist, akin to John Stewart and Bill Maher, runs for president of the United States. We follow his crusade from absurd proposition to full blown presidential candidate. But this film is more than just a ha ha “what if a comedian ran for president” picture. It is a story about how the American public is ready for a change and how the youth of today, distrustful of the system, are turning to political satirists like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert for their news. To them the real Six O’clock news looks more like a joke while political comedies are actually raising serious issues and bringing valid questions about our countries future to the forefront. More people are taking their truth with a spoonful of humor these days and there is no wondering why. With the absurdity of our current governments choices when it comes to war, marriage and education, the inconsistencies of governmental thought and action and the general hypocrisies of politicians how can we not try to bury our heads in the sands of comedy. The film deals a lot with how our governmental representatives are kneeling to special interests and not to those they were sworn to represent…by the way that’s you. This film came in the nick of time. With any luck, life will imitate art and this film could inspire a nation to revolution. If we don’t take a stand what sets us apart from any other imperialistic country spreading itself thin on the eve of its decline? Nothing. This movie is not what you think it is, it draws you in with its humor then takes an unexpected twist and quickly turns from a comedy to a thriller. Picture it as if Gene Wilder had starred in the Manchurian Candidate. It was one of the best films I have seen this year. It really begs the question, what is necessary to make a big change in this country. Could it be a radical liberal comedian? Maybe, you’ll have to check out the film to find out. The movie is funny, smart and suspenseful. If you like political satire, thrilling suspense and candid dialogue smothered in wit then this picture is for you. by Cat Elrod- this review is also available at

2 thoughts on “Man of the Year”

  1. I thought Man of the Year was one of the worst films I saw last year for one simple reason: It abandoned it’s own premise. The film was supposed to be about a comedian who becomes president, which was indeed timely with so many people hoping John Stewart or Keith Olbermann would run for prez. The first 30 minutes are wholly dedicated to this concept, but the moment he is actually elected, the idea is scrapped. The film was topical at the moment, but the jokes(hanging chad jokes in 2006? Come on!!) are moldy at best. This would have been a better film if it had been entirely about this comedian’s run for the office, rather than his time as President, because it’s painfully clear that they had no idea how to portray it. That’s why he gets kidnapped numerous times(atleast three), and his courtship of Laura Linney takes center stage. If I wanted to watch The American President, I’d do that. Man of the Year was supposed to be different than that, but it wasn’t. Gene Wilder in Manchurian Candidate. That’s an insult to both Wilder and that great film.

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