The Party's Over (2001) -- Directed with Donovan Leitch. Sort of a followup to The Last Party (Robert Downey, Jr. covering the 1992 political party conventions), this one stars Philip Seymour Hoffman. It proposes itself to be a moderate, objective film that wants to show how both major political parties are equally abhorrent. However, as expected, the liberal leanings are ever-present: Democrats certainly look ineffective or worse, but Republicans look evil, foolish, or just downright insane (not that they're not). Hoffman isn't necessarily the one causing this problem (most of the time he just looks befuddled) so much as the camera people and editors. At the end of the movie, one of those slowly-dissolving white letters on black background title screens come up that tell us what a tragedy Florida was in 2000, but if the premise of the movie is that you can't win with either party, then why the somber tone? Why end on that note? At its best, the movie makes the viewer (if he is neither rich nor poor, neither in power nor disenfranchised--like me) have yet another increase in apathy and hopelessness. At its worst, it's yet another turn-of-the-century, quickly-made left-wing political documentary disguised as something else. But did I enjoy watching it? Yes, I did. Cool celebrities, politicians, musicians, and others spoke interestingly and kept my attention throughout. Oh, and this is the documentary that taught me that Barney Frank is a Republican. Who knew?
Copyright (c) Feb 2007 by Rusty Likes Movies