Independents finally get a break in ‘Man of the Year’

Emily Charles

With voting just around the corner, what’s better than seeing a political satire complete with none other than Robin Williams?

“Man of the Year” may not be the most influential political film, but it’s a comedy that scores some laughs during voting season – the time of the year when America is constantly annoyed with political attacks and ads in general.

When funny man Tom Dobbs (Williams) makes a joke about running for president, his enormous fan base lands him a slot on the presidential ballot as an Independent candidate for the American public. Although Dobbs doesn’t seem to have a chance, he wins against the incumbent president in a voting shocker that can only be explained by computer employee Eleanor Green (Laura Linney). As Green explains the voting glitch to her bosses, she discovers that they are less interested in a fair election and more interested in the success of their newly developed computer voting system. Once she meets Dobbs, Green must choose which is more important: the American’s right to vote or Dobbs’ best interest.

Between Williams’ relentless political critiques and comedic slurs, the movie gains interest in a documentary-like style of story telling through the eyes of a political campaigner. The strong cast of Williams, Linney, Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum remain steady through most of the movie, but the film’s satire bottoms out when a romance blooms between Dobbs and Green, and the focus on America’s political issues and voting problems could have been more specifically centered.

For the most part, the movie is more enjoyable when taken out of context as a political comedy. With lots of political hints, there are many different views that can be attained by different viewers, consequently leaving many different opinions. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed Williams’ take on political humor. Being almost completely non-political, it made me more conscious about the power of the right to vote and the importance of strong governmental leaders. A lot to get out of a Robin Williams movie, I know, but there’s a lot of depth to the underlying storyline of the film.

“Man of the Year” is not only fun to see, but it also can get you psyched about voting. Just hope that your vote has more power than the flawed voting system displayed in the film, or else anything can happen – including a comedian winning an election.