Starring: steve carell, rose byrne, mackenzie davis and chris cooper
REVIEWER: lyall carter
A Democratic political consultant helps a retired Marine colonel run for mayor in a small Wisconsin town.
Released in the lead up to the 2020 US election, Irresistible didn’t really muster that much of a whisper despite its star studded ensemble cast and writer/director in Jon Stewart. Which is a pity because despite its flawed thematic structure, Irresistible is a sharp critique of the US political system and darn entertaining to boot.
Written and directed by Jon Stewart, Irresistible is a comedy about what happens when a small Wisconsin town becomes the main attraction of our political circus. After the Democrat’s top strategist Gary (Steve Carell) sees a video of a retired Marine Colonel (Chris Cooper) standing up for the rights of his town’s undocumented workers, Gary believes he has found the key to winning back the Heartland. However, when the Republicans counter him by sending in his brilliant nemesis Faith (Rose Byrne), what started out as a local race quickly becomes an out-of-control and hilarious fight for the soul of America.
Irresistible starts off as a standard political kinda movie with a whole lot of narrative threads and moving parts that slowly unwind and come together. And throughout the first two acts of the film that are thoroughly entertaining, sharp and highly humorous at times, Stewart and his cast make some really valid points regarding the politics, especially representative politics, big money involved in those politics and the disconnect between the political elite and more isolated communities.
Unfortunately Stewart bites off a little more than he can chew thematically and doesn’t quite land the final act. The apparent attraction that Carell has for Mackenzie Davis and Rose Byrne feels like a bit of a miss step as well due to the big age gap.
However, the cast of Irresistible are on top form. Carell completely disappears into the role of the Washington political strategist becoming more and more slightly unhinged and desperate as the election looms and Byrne is deliciously devious as the opposing Republican political insider.
Despite its flawed thematic structure, Irresistible is a sharp critique of the US political system and darn entertaining to boot.