Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde) is Tracy Flick, a straight "A" go-getter who's determined to be president of Carver High's student body. But when popular teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick, The Producers) observe... more »s the zealous political locomotive that is Tracy, he decides to derail her obsessive overachieving by recruiting an opposition candidate (Chris Klein, American Pie) - with disastrous results! Here's a smart, witty and hilarious jab at high school politics helmed by award-winning director Alexander Payne (Sideways).« less
"This is by far the funniest movie Hollywood has produced in years, probably the best in my opinion since "Get Shorty."Reese Witherspoon plays Tracy Flick, an over-ambitous student with desires to be elcted to her student council. Tracy Flick is the kind of person I think we've all met before. Driven, ambitious, very bright, but at the same time she really has no discernable personality. The fact that she is driven and involved in everything is what's getting her by. She has very few friends and is, if anything, made fun of routinely.Matthew Broderick plays her teacher. He's a very regular man, teaching a dull course, leading a fairly boring and repetetive life. When he finds tracy's ambitions threatning he sets out on destroying her.Election is far more hilarious than most movies because of its extremely bitter nature. Many people will find the story cold and sterile but if you get past that it is a hugely entertaining film.All the performances are first rate and if you compare it to the other "teen" comedy of the year, "American Pie" it is evident that this is light years ahead. While "American Pie" settles on cheap belly laughs and a feel good ending, "Election" opts for exactly the opposite. In fact this is really a very adult film performed by teenagers."Election" is a cynical, bitter, vicious movie that is also the best comedy in years."
When John Hughes grows up, he'll make a film like this
Allan Ostermann | Portland (the one on the left) | 03/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Election is a film, but it feels like a parody of a sitcom. It takes a typical SITuation and follows it to its absurd conclusion.Let me explain. Reese Witherspoon is well, let's just say, Marcia Brady on Ritalin. It's an episode about an election. If Tracy (aka Marcia) doesn't win, gosh, we just don't know what she'll do.The election is between Tracy, the opportunistic brain, and a dumb, naive, popular, but really sweet jock (not your stereotypical bully type, like, say Jay Mohr in high school or anything). Then there's the third candidate, but I won't give that away.Will the brain beat the brawn? Hmm.So that's the surface layer. Definitely Brady Bunch material, right? But add Matthew Broderick as the "protagonist", a teacher who's sleazy, jealous and spiteful. Throw in a killer bee, a jezebel neighbor, and a jilted teenage lesbian. Also add real human emotions, not caricatures, where the viewer at times can't say "he's bad" or "she's good". They're all human. Some are just more inhumane.The movie explores motivation, winning, the political process, and human tragedy. But boy is it funny! See it, I mean it. It was perhaps my favorite of 1999."
A subtle classic of American cinema
David Baldwin | Solihull, England | 12/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Election was not popular in America, and it's mainly because it viciously attacks everything the USA holds dear. This is exectly why this is such a brilliant black comedy, but if you're the type of person who prefers 'comedies' like American Pie then this is definitely not for you. It ridicules everything - the sexual pysche of the wounded male ego, high school hierarchy systems, the teacher-pupil relationship - whilst at the same time satirising American politics. Payne's commentary on the DVD is informative, but it would have been nice to have a feature on the making of it of or an analysis of the intentions of the script from people involved. Hell, a trailer would have been good, but buy the DVD for the film, a classic of American cinema which doesn't need to be in your face to make its point. Well worth your money."
Eric Meyer | New York, NY | 01/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Election" is one of the most intelligently-written, original and well-acted films to come out in years. The storytelling is never predictable or conventional, yet everything that happens feels honest and correct. The characters are far more fully-developed than those in any recent Hollywood film I can think of. In the beginning, you expect Broderick to be the hero and Witherspoon to be the villain, but the former does some despicable things, and the latter proves to be somewhat sympathetic. Although "Election" is a comedy (and a very funny one at that), it makes more valid and honest observations about human nature than most "serious" films."
A new classic...
E. M. Carey | New York, NY USA | 05/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Election is truly one of the most clever and probably the funniest movie to come along in the past couple of years. I've watched it several times, and each time I'm drawn back in, amused, dismayed and, most importantly, laughing out loud at the plot, the details and the whole package.Reese Witherspoon is a revelation as Tracey Flick, the perfect student running unopposed for student council president. What could have been such a one-dimensional character is given a great deal of depth through her performance. And it is nice to see Matthew Broderick playing a grown-up, albeit a disturbingly immature one. The supporting players are just as amazingly cast, and act their roles superbly. The details, too, of the Nebraska setting, from the meal Broderick shares with his wife, to the trips to the mall, to the basement band... this is one well-crafted movie.I highly recommend this movie. I've passed this movie amongst friends and family quite liberally and everyone has enjoyed it enthusiastically. Of course, we all love satire, and this is one of the best to come along in a looooong time."