Simply Irresistible - Political Satire In The Heartland Of America

Licking his wounds after defeat in 2016, Democratic strategist Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) heads to rural Wisconsin to help a grizzled former Marine colonel (Chris Cooper) win a mayoral election in the key battleground.

The only obstacle? A ruthless Republican rival (Rose Byrne) sent to the same small town.

Midway through Irresistible, Steve Carell’s hawkish political kingmaker describes his newest candidate with disbelieving glee. “He’s like Bill Clinton with impulse control,” he says, grinning into a phone. “Like a church-going Bernie Sanders with better bone density.” Two lines that, in their eyebrow-waggling vim, pretty much encapsulate both the strengths and deficiencies of Jon Stewart’s second film as a writer-director. Which is to say, it’s reflective of a fun, fish-out-of-water political satire that also has the occasional misfortune of feeling about as relevant to the current, pandemic-ruptured climate as, well, Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders.


To be clear: the drastically altered circumstances of 2020 (evinced by the fact this project is now straight-to-streaming) are not the fault of Stewart or his team. But, even with deft central performances, Irresistible’s world of cartoonishly folksy Midwesterners and pampered DC power-brokers comes across as a little inert and inconsequential; a pleasant-but-slight electoral fable, from a far cosier alternate reality.

Still, it’s a seductive basic premise, introduced with briskness and flair. Distraught after his role in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election defeat, Democratic Party strategist Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) is shown a viral video of retired Marine colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper giving maximum rumpled cowboy) nobly standing up for undocumented workers. A lightbulb practically pings above his head. And soon he is in the Wisconsin town of Deerlaken mounting a mayoral campaign, getting close to the colonel’s daughter (Mackenzie Davis), and setting up a symbolic battle with an old Republican adversary, Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne).

From here, if you imagine an ebullient melding of Veep and Doc Hollywood, you will not be far off the feel of the film’s first half. Laughs flow, and Stewart’s script pours scorn on data-obsessed political grandees, more interested in using rural voters as pawns than actually engaging with them.

A big part of this appealingly breezy, sitcom groove comes from Carell (channelling an uptight, more cynical Michael Scott). And Byrne, too, ignites the film with her affectless put-downs and salutatory face-licks. But, as the action progresses, the backwater atmosphere these two DC sharks have been released into can feel a touch overcooked (would even the smallest of small towns really still have dial-up internet?).

Moreover, by the third act, there are ever-broader moments of satire (including an iffy scene featuring a paraplegic prospective campaign donor with a hydraulic exoskeleton) that feel like SNL sketches, somewhat uncomfortably jammed into the story. There is partial justification for some of these tonal gear-changes — a subversive climactic rug-pull delivered with a finger-snapping, ‘The Aristocrats!’-style flourish — but any genuine surprise is at the expense of emotional stakes. And the net feeling is of a film that is a tactically astute marginal victory when, given the names involved, it should have been a landslide.


Users who upvoted this (4)

User comments (32)

Sort by:
Follow comments

Please log in or register to post a comment.

Political comedy in an election year.


And a spotlight on an election system that could do with a big revision.

Hide 21 replies...
@😷just_box😷 If you don't like our elections ignore them. Do you think coming on this site with your vacuous put downs is going to change the outcome in any way?

Buzz off back to your hammers and sickles and/or your fascicles.

@Middleman smiley smiley smiley
come ooooon middleman...
hammers and sickles?
its 2020..!!!
we have Huawei super laptops (apple is ok also)and what on earth makes ya think this is YOUR election ???
the very president you love soooo much just asked for Chinas help....and they asked ME how to implement such a project....

@Adrian88 smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley My hat off to you Sir as I my coffee almost went through my nose smiley

@JudgeDredd Morning your honor!
And its true! The typical chinese NOT understanding of marketing has been a NIGHTMARE for me for 8 years now!

@Adrian88 Hammers and sickles have always been the motif of your kind. Why are you trying to rewrite history again?

@Middleman your vacuous put downs

This is just getting boooooring Middleman.

I was just following the thread of the film regarding fund raising, PACS, super PACS etc.

You should give it a go - it might open your eyes.

And mate - I ain't buzzing anywhere so you should pipe down a bit cause I'm in it for the long haul, buzzing in your ears and generally holding up a mirror to your presidential Emperor with No Clothes. smiley

@😷just_box😷 You really should remove the beam from your politics before you chastise the mote of others.

Once you get your heart's desire of a full Marxist government, let me know how the first purge goes. If you can...

@Middleman Times move on and the term you may be looking for is a social Democratic approach to government. All the rage in Europe where the more fortunate help the less fortunate, health service for all, minimum salary AND a public education system that needs improvement but works.

No purges, no work camps and no dictators.

Covid-19 rates at manageable levels that cost an arm an a leg, but things got done and we will get past this crisis.

@😷just_box😷 And what will you do when your "system" runs out of other people's money?

@Middleman Maybe do the same as Donald J Trump when he runs out of other people's money.

Meanwhile, over in WONDERLAND...

The US trade deficit widened to $19.4 billion in April of 2020 from a downwardly revised $42.3 billion in March, and in line with market forecasts of $49 billion. It is the biggest trade gap in eight months in part due to the impact of the coronavirus, as many businesses were operating at limited capacity or ceased operations completely, and the movement of travelers across borders was restricted. Exports plunged 20.5% to the lowest reading in 10 years mainly due to travel, passenger cars, civilian aircraft, industrial machinery and oil. Imports sank 13.7% to the lowest since July of 2010, mainly due to passenger cars, travel, transport and pharmaceutical goods. The trade gap with China widened $9 billion to $26 billion while the deficit with Mexico decreased $5.6 billion to $3.3 billion.
Read more

@😷just_box😷 40 years old, but it still chaps your ass.

What was your point in the highlighted section? Do you approve of the shutdown? Did it go too far? Not far enough? Is any news favorable to the president bad news to you?

@Middleman Money comes around and goes around. What you do with it is what matters - education, health services, housing, social welfare etc

@😷just_box😷 Who do you trust to use the money wisely? Surely not the gubment. It's nothing but thieves and scoundrels there. And the overhead? Sheeesh!

Do you really believe those in office know better how to spend your money than you do? If that's so, why don't you send them your entire paycheck and let them give you an allowance (pittance) from it?

@Middleman No need for such extreme measures.

I give them income tax, National insurance contributions, Motoring taxation, Consumption tax – VAT, Excise duties.

That should be enough to keep the country running.

@😷just_box😷 You're going full retard.

What is that supposed to mean? And, in case you didn't know, it's President Donald J. Trump.

@Middleman I was referring to the other Donald J Trump, the playboy with money issues prior to 2016...

@😷just_box😷 Snopes is hardly a source of truthful information.

@Middleman Plenty more records to peruse...

Enough spanking Middle or you fancy a bit of something else? smiley

@😷just_box😷 What makes you think you're "spanking" me? A businessman had some failed businesses. So what? Do you think everyone can turn over a rock and become rich and know precisely how to run a business? This isn't Aladdin. Wishing doesn't make it happen.

Even Facebook took some hits before it became a money tree for the CIA/FSB connected parties involved. President Trump didn't have connections with access to unlimited (taxpayer) wealth.

@Middleman fascicles? I think you're trying to refer to 'science stuff'... but DO carry on with your factification which is absolutely sh*tlarious!!

@———- What? Is English your first language? Your translator program has some major bugs.


And here is why!
In 2013 THIS picture circulated the media:

oh my god these were the TIMES! Xi jinping as Winnie the Pooh and Obama as Tigger!
China already owned 28% of the United States back then and when Xi visited Obama everybody had to smile and act like this is not the case.
An unknown journalist found the parallels in the pictures and it went viral.
dear Trumpists: THIS is how two real statesmen look like and two TRUE FIRST LADIES. Xi Jinpings wife Peng Liyuan is a POP STAR in China
Nonono not like Jennifer Lopez or Dolly Parton...
Peng Liyuan started as a soldier in the peoples army ("peoples army"..i love the term! its so..70s... smiley )She sung her way up and is a professor for "current ethnic chinese singing" now
Read more


Hide 8 replies...
@DonRobusto smiley smiley smiley
thx so much!!!
enjoyed the movie very much!

@Adrian88 Hey Adrian! smiley smiley Good to "see" you. Are you in for the nightshift?
I just gave middleman a "Klaps auf den Hintern. He is such a naughty boy.

@DonRobusto You're pathetic. And you most certainly didn't spank me. But I guess you have to lie to make yourself look like a hero to your friends... Or should that be "comrades"?

@Middleman awwww....come ooooon ...i think a lil spank from time to time..its not THAT bad...if you liked it (-which you most certainly did-)
If you watched the series "Billions"... admitting masochistic tendencies is just hip

@Adrian88 Don't try to put your fetishes onto me.

@Middleman Oh sh*t! You just turned boxmans post into a field of foulness. He will not be amused.
I'm terrified of his wrath! smiley
Let' run!
Sorry boxman smiley

@DonRobusto Love me a bit of fair is foul, and foul is fair

Very amused and all forgiven.

@😷just_box😷 Much Appreciated! smiley


Top posts of the day

Similar posts

About Us: - is a social sharing network. Share your favorite news, videos, posts with our users. Participate in discussions on any topic, ask questions and read answers. Vote for posts and comments.

We use cookies to improve the efficiency and quality of our service, to customize content and advertisements, analyse our web traffic. Read more in our privacy policy...

Join 326,200 users who love sharing awesome content!

Follow your interests • Join the conversation • Find new friends