Man of the Year (12A)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/11/2007

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 115 mins

Man of the Year has some nice ideas and a handful of excellent scenes, but it struggles to find the right tone and is hamstrung by a ridiculous plot point.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Barry Levinson, Man of the Year stars Robin Williams as Tom Dobbs, a late night political talk show host who is persuaded to run for president and unexpectedly wins. Meanwhile, Delacroy employee Eleanor Green (Laura Linney) discovers a glitch in the electronic voting system that was directly responsible for Dobbs' victory, but when she tries to bring the matter to the attention of her employers, they have her discredited.

In desperation, Eleanor attempts to see Dobbs in person, but things get complicated when he finds himself falling for her. Not to mention the fact that sinister Delacroy honcho Stewart (Jeff Goldblum) will stop at nothing to keep Eleanor quiet.

The Good
Williams is actually pretty good as Dobbs, leaving aside his usual rapid-fire comic persona for something more grounded and serious. He also has surprising chemistry with Linney (brilliant as always) and there's strong support from Christopher Walken (as Dobbs' friend and manager) and an impressively creepy Jeff Goldblum.

The Bad
There are a handful of terrific scenes here (the televised debate sequence; Dobbs reeling off his past misdemeanours for gossip-hungry journalists) and some fairly decent gags but the film suffers from a wildly uneven tone and seemingly can't decide whether it's a thriller, a satire or a romcom.

Similarly, the film falls down because the script seems confused about the glitch – early on, Stewart behaves as if it's part of a plan to keep the current president in power, but later, it's just meant to be a mistake that would bankrupt the company.

Worth seeing?
Man of the Year is well acted and makes some valid political points but it's scuppered by an uneven tone and poor plotting. Not as good as it should have been.

Film Trailer

Man of the Year (12A)
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Content updated: 25/09/2018 22:43

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