21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bipartisan Movie
A funny movie that reflects people's general feeling of disgust with today's political system. No matter what political party you belong to, if any, you will love this movie. Robin Williams stars as a comedian/talk-show host who campaigns as an independent candidate for President because he's tired of both Democrats and Republicans and wants to give America an...
Published on October 15, 2006 by Paul J. Moriarty
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Perception Of Legitimacy Is More Important Than Legitimacy Itself ~ It's All About Distraction"
The '06 release of the DVD `Man of the Year' is a tale of two movies not so cleverly disguised as one. It begins like a house on fire leading the viewer to expect this to be the comedy of the year, a tour-de-force by the incomparable Robin Williams as talk show host and comedian Tom Dobbs, soon to become the president-elect of the Unite States. With the presence of...
Published on February 24, 2007 by Brian E. Erland
Most Helpful First | Newest First
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bipartisan Movie,
A funny movie that reflects people's general feeling of disgust with today's political system. No matter what political party you belong to, if any, you will love this movie. Robin Williams stars as a comedian/talk-show host who campaigns as an independent candidate for President because he's tired of both Democrats and Republicans and wants to give America an alternative choice. He becomes Ross Perot on speed. I sat through this movie thinking "I might vote for this guy" and, when the movie ended in the theater, people actually stood up and applauded indicating how it was hitting home. I can't wait to see the Director's Cut to find out what was left out! It's a must see and a must own!!!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange, this is Good Satire,
In Man of The Year, Robin Williams plays a comedic talk show host Tom Dobbs. One set of viewers suggest him for politic office. It starts a grass roots campaign for President of the United States. This film is a good satire on politics
Suddenly, his comic rants make sense to Americans. With the political season starting up, this film is timely and to the point.
Barry Levinson who directed Williams in Good Morning Vietnam Good Morning, Vietnam (Special Edition), keeps a loose rein on Williams in his rants. And if this is film is scripted, you would never know. Williams makles this text his own.Williams's comedy in this movie is part satire and part stand up comedy
Surrounded by a supporting cast (Christopher Walken, Lewis Black and Laura Linney) that truly supports its lead actor. This makes this comedy work better than most poltical satires (like Wag the Dog or Primary Colors). The problem is the sub plots with Linney of a rigged election and Walken's illness that seems not to work for me
There are moments of sound gaps in Williams's Stand up, but it ma,es it most like a political banter
The problem is the ending seems too pat for my tastes. It gives a great punch and then end falls flat and does not work for me.
If you LOVE Robin Williams, you will overlook the faults and enbrace this film with open arms
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Perception Of Legitimacy Is More Important Than Legitimacy Itself ~ It's All About Distraction",
The '06 release of the DVD `Man of the Year' is a tale of two movies not so cleverly disguised as one. It begins like a house on fire leading the viewer to expect this to be the comedy of the year, a tour-de-force by the incomparable Robin Williams as talk show host and comedian Tom Dobbs, soon to become the president-elect of the Unite States. With the presence of Christopher Walken in the role of his personal manager Jack Menken the movie appears on track for a laugh a minute feature.
However all the clever and funny political ranting and raving that distinguishes the first half of the film are sadly and unexpectedly put aside for a not so intriguing conspiracy drama that pushes what Robin Williams does best into the background where he is forced to passively watch the second half of the film wind down into mediocrity. Robin does fire up the comedic monologue again just before the end and thankfully is able to partially save what would have otherwise been a major disaster.
Too bad director Barry Levinson couldn't make up his mind about what kind of film he wanted to make. 'Man of the Year' had the right lead man and cast in place for what could have been a cultural classic to rival Sidney Lumet's 'Network' from '76. What happened Barry?
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Decide if It's a Thriller or a Comedy,
This review is from: Man of the Year (Full Screen Edition) (DVD)
Tom Dobbs (played by Robin Williams) is a late night comedian who pokes fun at all things political. One evening, a woman stands up and suggests he run for President. The emails start flooding in. Soon, Tom Dobbs is a candidate.
A computer error puts Dobbs over the top and makes him the President-elect. But when the program creator wants to go public with the news, the parent company (not wanting to lose their huge capital gains), conspires to hurt her, trash her, and ruin her. The movie makers seem to be having trouble at this point trying to decide if they are making a comedy or a drama.
Even Tom Dobbs himself is torn over the issue of whether or not to play it straight or to be the comic relief during the presidential campaign.
Critics have savaged this movie for its seeming ambivalence about which genre to embrace. But I like a movie where you can laugh and also be on your toes at the same time. I feel that this film is underrated and underappreciated. I give it four stars.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie!!!!!,
I have read review after review on this movie, and everyone always mentions how it's not a comedy. This isn't a comedy. This is just like Thank You For Smoking, it's a literal movie. Robin Williams' comedy in this movie isn't supposed to be FUNNY, it's just said in a way with no B.S. or candy-coating. This movie, next to The Prestige, is one of the best this year so far. Don't watch this if you are expecting Robin Williams in his funniest role. Watch this if you want to see a good movie, and can even learn from it.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story with humor thrown in,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Many people seem to be rating this film badly based upon failed expectations. The fact that Robin Williams is the main star certainly raises expectations of a laugh out loud comedy that will leave you in stitches. If you're looking for a laugh out loud comedy that is about as deep as Talledega Nights or Tommy Boy you will no doubt be disappointed. This really is, however, a great movie. The story is a deep one about doing the right thing and being yourself. Robin Williams is the only actor in my opinion that could have pulled this off. If you're looking for a movie with a great story with humor thrown in this is the movie for you. If you're looking for a movie to watch only for laughs I recommend picking up a Chris Farley classic. For myself, I loved the story and I loved everything Robin Williams. This will be a classic that I buy and watch over and over.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Role that Fits Robin Williams,
After a spate of roles that Robin Williams elected to play to prove he can be other than a funny guy, roles that were dark and foreboding, along comes the surprise film MAN OF THE YEAR and Williams has the opportunity to shine in both his unbridled comic banter and his more serious and even tender side. The film was marketed with a Thomas Jefferson cum George Washington wig atop Williams' head and for this viewer that was enough to avoid the film in theaters. But don't be fooled by that bit of chicanery and foolish choice of PR: this film has so much truth about our political system that it is a springboard for the best in comic writing.
Tom Dobbs is a late night talk show host with a political slant (read Bill Maher type etc) who responds to an audience question 'Why don't you run for President?' by deciding to do so, much to the chagrin of this manager Jack Menken (Christopher Walken in a wonderfully underplayed role at last!) and writer Eddie Langston (Lewis Black). Dobbs is just fed up enough with the government being run by people who have to pay off the lobbyists that get them elected and the big corporate supporters and spend money on everything BUT the people they serve: he seems to be as likely a candidate as any - and the public via email and media support prove him correct. He debates as an Independent candidate with both the Democrat and Republican and wins the debate hands down. AND he is elected.
But there is a problem: The new voting system is by a computer company run by Alan Stewart (Jeff Goldblum) and workers Eleanor Green (Laura Linney is a terrific role) and Danny (the hunky and fine David Alpay). Eleanor discovers a glitch in the computer program that reveals that Dobbs did not indeed win the election and the rest of the film is how she confronts Dobbs with the truth and how Dobbs and crew deal with it. Suffice it to say that Dobbs' manner of coping makes us wish that he indeed were the President!
The cast is strong and for this viewer the fine balance between comedy and true drama that writer/director Barry Levinson achieves is not only the stuff of fine film making: it is also wise and should be viewed by a very wide audience. Robin Williams manages to be both his inimitable funny self as well as offer a touching three-dimensional performance of a citizen at odds with the current political system. And Laura Linney adds yet another fine role to her ever-increasing repertoire. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, March 07
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Treasure,
Robin Williams has created a movie that tells us so much about ourselves and who Americans think they are. It hasn't done as well as it should have because it's not as funny as people expect it to be. What it is, is a try at making a movie that tells about the dangers of corporate greed and the way that people look at elections.
Some of the satire is so subtle in places that you need to watch it two or three times. Listen very carefully to the answers of the other candidates at the debate, and to their comments at other times during the movie.
Robin Williams character is a cross between John Stewart and Ralph Nader, but Lewis Black almost steals the movie as his writer. It would be interesting to know how much of the movie was ad libs between the two.
In the end though the movie cops out by letting there be a re-election between the same two bozos, and one of them goes on to do the same old same old, so it's disappointing in that way.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A political "comedy" that refuses to commit to its intriquing premise,
While watching "Man of the Year" I realized that I want to believe that a comedian could indeed be elected President of the United States. This stems from my long held conviction that if I could just be included in a presidential debate I would get elected because I would make the other candidates eat their works (the best realization of my peculiar daydream would be what Jed Bartlet did to his opponent in just such a debate on "The West Wing"). All John Kerry had to do was say to President Bush "I voted for it before I voted against it because we all believed what you said about weapons of mass destruction and I did what any American does when they find they were suckered on a deal." But if Kerry could not figure out a response to the often-repeated jib that fatally punctured his campaign, then he did not deserve to be president. Of course comedians have an advantage over politicians in such exchanges, because comedians know how to go cut to the truth of the matter and politicians are trained to go for the lowest common denominator and in the real world punch lines beat sound bites.
You could never tell from the trailer for "Man of the Year," but this 2006 film from writer-director Barry Levinson ("Wag the Dog") is a lot more serious. The scene were independent candidate Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) goes off on the Democratic and Republican nominees during the debates seems to be the key to his road to the White House, but the secret of his success lies in the computer voting system developed by the Delacroy Systems (in response to the hanging chads of Florida). However one of the computer experts at Delacroy, Eleanor Green (Laura Linney), discovers there is something wrong with the program. She tells the CEO but he ignores her warning because it would destroy his company, and when Dobbs wins the election, Eleanor thinks something should be done. So does her boss and his right-hand man (Jeff Goldblum), which is where we suddenly find there is a dark side to this supposed comedy.
Consequently, "Man of the Year" is put in the position of an awkward balancing act between the funny stuff and the serious side of what is happening. Dobbs is a political comedian on television in the mold of Jon Stewart, and despite his ability to rife on the foibles of politicians he has a serious understanding of the nation's political problems. In fact, he gets to be in the final debate because he has been seriously discussing the issues and is in double figures in the polls. Williams strength here is that he carries off the serious stuff as well as the comic rants, especially in his interactions with Linney. Dobbs knows better than to pay attention to what people say and a lot of contrivances associated with such plotlines are avoided because he is able to relate to Eleanor as a human being and not a character in a bizarre political plot. Christopher Walken plays Dobbs' manager, Jack Menken, who sets the stage for the proceedings with his narration explaining the cosmic alignment of events with his personal touch of surrealism, but the performance I really want to highlight is that of Lewis Black as Eddie Langston, who finally tones down an onscreen performance so that he comes across as a sage rather than a crackpot.
What tips this film off balance is when Eleanor uncovers the glitch in the program. Granted, you want something that most people can easily understand to explain how the program made Dobbs president, but you do not want something that is stupid. After you find out the glitch (and ignore the rest of this paragraph if you have not) think about what would have happened in this election: Only two of the three candidates would have won any states. Additionally, I do not understand why spelling counts in counting ballots (and also it was a good thing Hank Aaron was not on the ballot). Beyond that when the national press discovers that according to the exit polls the vast majority of people who voted for the President-Elect apparently lied about it and that the candidates always finished in the same order, they should have figured something was amiss. Do not even get me started on how Delacroy's public statements would blow up in their faces, but that is just another nail in the coffin of this film.
The net result is that ultimately the funny sides and the serious sides of "Man of the Year" do not jell. Even though Williams and Linney make their characters believable the situation quickly goes beyond their grasp. The more I think about it the more I am convinced that Dobbs would have dialed back the comedy after election day, to wit, more like what he did in his responses to the press when they went after his past than the whole bit with the powdered wig. The key difference is having a point to the comedy that critiques politics and not merely to make jokes about politics. This brings me back to the beginning and my desire to believe that not only could somebody like Tom Dobbs be elected President of the United States, but that it would be a good thing and not a bad thing (and not be default). Unfortunately, "Man of the Year" does not share that conviction regarding its own title character.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Movie not the Ad Campaign,
Many folks seem quite disgruntled that they were misled about the genre of this film by the ad campaign. I'm not sure any of that is actually relevant to the film itself. This film is deeper than comedies at the level of Talladega Nights or Wedding Crashers, sorry. It is a thriller more than a laugh-out-loud comedy. It is not completely successful, but I think that has more to do with other elements besides its meshing of these two genres. After reading the tepid reviews, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. You might be too. Laura Linney delivers an impressive performance in her role as whistle-blower.
Most Helpful First | Newest First