Movie Of the Week: Election (1999)

Alexander Payne directs Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Klein in this high school sex comedy about a rigged popularity election.

Perhaps the greatest satire Hollywood ever made came from MTV Studios and features loads of crude gags. I mean we are talking a fair few levels above American Pie but there are still a plethora of dick and boobies jokes. The script is razor sharp, the direction unfussy but full of impact. One of the best examples of cross voiceover narration ever achieved. Matthew Broderick gets his first great adult role as the teacher in a reverse Ferris Bueller situation. This time he’s the Mister Rooney… having his life upended as he obsessively refuses to let a determined kid get away with it. He’s initially presented as decent, hard working and sympathetic which makes every sad sack facet of his fall and corruption even more delicious. Meanwhile, Witherspoon’s iconic Tracy Flick is an out-and-out monster in conservative clothing from the off. The high school milieu seems pretty authentic and Payne has a casting coup in his choosing of amateur Jessica Campbell. She rocks as the outsider candidate, the one true relatable human within all the scandals and back stabbing. Raunchy, clever and colourful – this is a highly rewatchable comedy which knows the difference between ethics and morality.


Perfect Double Bill: American Beauty (1999)

My wife and I do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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