Welcome To Mooseport

"Bad"

Welcome To Mooseport Review


"Welcome to Mooseport" is a fusty, rusty, laugh-track-lame comedy about two petty, immature men running for mayor of the same stereotypically idyllic small town and vying for the affections of the same apparently undiscriminating small-town woman.

One of them (an unusually humdrum Gene Hackman) is the newly termed-out President of the United States, who has retired to the little Maine burg and enters the race as a PR stunt that goes awry. The other (torpid TV star Ray Romano) is a plumber who owns the local hardware store and hasn't the backbone to commit to anything -- and yet he's persuaded to run for office. Or so we're told. Even though it's pivotal to the plot, this cajoling takes place off-screen for no good reason.

But the rivals' stations in life hardly matter since, once you get past the screenplay's fresh paint, these two guys are the same stale, odious, infantile jerks that have been pawned off as Everyman heroes in every other ill-conceived comedy from the last 20 years.

Spite and silly mistakes lead both candidates into the race while ridiculous false dilemmas prevent them from withdrawing. Apparently this "most popular president in history" (who is paradoxically played as an arrogant charlatan) will be shunned from lucrative speaking engagements and book deals if he doesn't go through with it.

Meanwhile Romano the modest rube mistakenly thinks (without explanation) that if he loses the election, he'll never win back his irritated girlfriend (Maura Tierney), who has decided, after waiting six years for Mr. Wishy-Washy to pop the question, that she'll make him jealous by dating the ex-president.

Director Donald Petrie (of the insufferable "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") and writer Tom Schulman -- whose track record ranges from the banal ("Dead Poets Society") to the bloody awful (the Eddie Murphy bomb "Holy Man") -- don't seem to realize they're working with a cast full of unsympathetic characters here.

Even though Hackman hires a campaign guru (Rip Torn) and starts playing dirty election politics, "Mooseport" treats him as a misguided co-protagonist alongside Romano, who spends most of the movie with his foot in his mouth. He commits all the customary comedy blunders that perpetuate the myth of the Stupid Male, encourage women to lower their standards and lead to so-called "happy endings" full of meaningless, mealy-mouthed mea culpas.

It's even difficult to get behind Tierney's supposedly sensible, independent object of desire because 1) instead of communicating with Romano she plays dumb little head games, and 2) as a veterinarian with a good head on her shoulders and her own practice, she could obviously do much better than a whiny wet towel like him anyway. So why on earth is she still hanging around this chump -- especially after he and Hackman play a round of winner-takes-all golf to determine who gets to keep pursuing her, as if it's the 19th Century and she has no say in the matter?

Add to the mix all the titular town's condescendingly quaint Central-Casting eccentrics (the same ones that populate every falsely charming Hollywood-backlot hamlet), plus one subplot about the ex-president's recent divorce ("Terrorists were easier to deal with," jokes Hackman, as if waiting for a rim shot), and another about his personal assistant (Marcia Gay Harden) being secretly in love with him, and "Welcome to Mooseport" covers just about every tiresome storyline it could possibly accommodate without any actual creativity being proffered.

Just about the only element of the film that doesn't ring false is the outrageous amount of press coverage this little mayoral race attracts -- something Petrie and Schulman use only for unimaginative narrative purposes, completely failing to exploit for its satirical possibilities. This what passes for political satire in the George W. Bush era?



Welcome To Mooseport

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th February 2004

Box Office USA: $14.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $14M

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 125

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Harold 'Handy' Harrison, as Monroe "Eagle" Cole, as Grace Sutherland, as Dr. Sally Mannis, as Irma, as Charlotte Cole, as Bullard, as Bert Langdon, as Morris Gutman

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.