'Irresistible' Review—Disappointingly Bland

No spoilers!

'Irresistible' Review—Disappointingly Bland

The issue with our current 2020 presidential election is that both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the two most perfect candidates. They are both the most equally qualified people in the country to be president, and neither candidate has done or said a single thing that could be considered offensive or improper.

Now that you have witnessed my brilliant political commentary, I will move on to what you clicked on this article to read about: Irresistible. Jon Stewart writes and directs this political satire, which stars Steve Carell as a Democratic political strategist who leads a mayoral campaign in a small right-wing Wisconsin town.

For those who are unaware, Stewart has had a hand in political commentary with his hosting of The Daily Show from 1999-2015, and it is easy to see how comfortable Stewart is behind this film that ultimately failed to meet its potential for laughs or political wit.

Our film opens with archival audio from 2016 presidential candidates, Trump and Hillary Clinton, and the shocking result of that election. We meet Democrat Gary Zimmer (Carell) and his Republican nemesis, Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), who openly tell the media that they are liars and deceive the American public.

This, of course, does not genuinely occur. While Stewart uses these characters as a mouthpiece for himself and how he feels about political figures, it is an odd opening to a film that aspires to be unique, but falls flat and ends up disappointingly bland.

Steve Carell carries this film. He manages to make his role as a political strategist funny. While some of that is attributed to Stewart's humor on the page, there are a few moments where it appears as if Carell is riffing, and the editor included many of his improvisations.

Had a less charismatic actor portrayed our protagonist, the film would not have been as watchable as it is. Gary is not a particularly unique character, as he has no backstory, and his motivations are not fleshed out. He barely grows as a person during this film, and the same applies to all the characters.

The supporting characters in the film do not pop off the screen. Byrne has a few scenes to shine as Faith, but Faith does not receive a lot of resolution by the end of the film, and she does not appear for a majority of the film. As for the other characters, they are not interesting enough to support the film's weak script.

As for the film's comedy, there are a few amusing moments that pulled a few chuckles out of me. It is not as funny as a comedy could be, and Stewart fails to explores his political messages as well as he should. He throws his message about the role of money in politics near the end when a character verbalizes it.

Unfortunately, his message feels tacked on because he failed to explore it well enough during most of the film's runtime, opting for light-hearted, mildly entertaining scenes instead of motifs or politically relevant story beats.

Furthermore, the ending of the film may be the most disappointing aspect of an already-mediocre movie. It contains a few surprises, but it may leave a sour taste in the mouths of audiences as certain events do not feel adequately resolved. The ending could have been more effective if the characters were more likable, but that is not the case.

Overall, the film contains a few enjoyable scenes, a few political messages, and a lot of charm from Carell and Byrne. However, it is not as sharp in its political humor as it wants to be, and the characters are disappointingly forgettable.

While the title of the film is Irresistible, your urge to watch this film should be quite resistible.

Grade: ★★✬☆☆ [5/10, C]

Well, somebody's lucky.

movie review
Jonathan Sim
Jonathan Sim
Read next: New Mexico—It's like a State, like All the Others!
Jonathan Sim

Film critic. Lover of Pixar, Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings.

See all posts by Jonathan Sim