Jon Stewart’s irresistible new political satire is almost too comforting

Jon Stewart has built a reputation as a truth teller. Sixteen years of deciphering America’s political machine in The daily show, followed by a retirement dedicated to defending the first relief of September 11, it will. In the feature film VOD Irresistible, written and directed by Stewart, again takes on the role of narrator of truth, focusing on a hyperlocal choice to expose a system that has strayed from ideological debates to popularity contests. Satire is silly and insightful. But unlike The daily showthe headline-torn comedy, or the grim debut of Stewart, the hostage biopic Water of roses, its second feature seems to have been transmitted from another galaxy, and only now is it coming to our current earthly conversation.

In a routine after the election of Donald Trump, Democratic political strategist Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) is looking for a ray of hope. He finds it in Marine Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), who, in an enthusiastic viral speech, confronts his local leaders and leaned to the right to defend undocumented workers and impoverished people who are left without work due to a economy in crisis. Seeing the future of his party on this YouTube sensation, Zimmer descends to the Midwest in hopes of turning Jack into “a Bill Clinton with impulse control.”

It brings eight metric tons of energy to drink latte, tether the iPhone and Washington DC to the city full of family stores, and it also comes with a lens on its back. When Kellyanne Conway’s Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) finds out about Gary and Jack’s run for mayor, she puts the full force of the RNC behind the headline and focuses the 24-hour news on everyone involved.

Chris Cooper is in front of the microphone at a public meeting in Irresistible.

Photo: Focus functions

Irresistible He is relentlessly sincere, suggesting that the power of freshly baked cakes can melt the heart of the most callous strategist. Like Gary, Carell is an intriguing Grinch who will surely learn a lesson by the time the credits come. Although he rushes into the clutches of a tactician, heightens media plans, and even takes Jack for a quick visit to Manhattan to rub elbows with pocket donors, it doesn’t take long for the camaraderie of his campaign staff to catch him. question your fast lane existence. Wish I could find some WiFi in this crazy little town!

Instead of imitating the intensity of legendary doc Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker The war room, or providing the conclusive breakdowns of the Big shortStewart focuses on the human element. Jack’s supporters are outlandish, the opposition is a cartoon, and the media promoting the showdown is the obstructive enemy. The choice makes it a great sitcom (complete with Office-The campaign agents prepared by Topher Grace and Natasha Lyonne). Stewart clearly did her homework: The film appears to be backed by the past three years of Atlantic magazine cover stories, but the message lacks any sense of bite or power.

Gary’s bow is obvious but satisfying, mainly thanks to its foil. Faith has the advantage of being even fiercer, and each time they collide (or fall back into old romantic patterns), Stewart leaves Irresistible explode in a real mess. The two bet on their victories with highly sexual bets. They discuss on MSNBC to the point of invading each other’s split screen box. They stare across the main street. Byrne and Carell become a pair of political cartoons, in full control of their jester behavior.

Rose Byrne and Steve Carell look at a variety of cakes and bakery cakes at Irresistible, which is really about politics, not people who can't stop eating cakes.

Photo: Daniel McFadden / Focus Features

Cooper, always the wise man, picks up the film: On the campaign trail, Stewart gives Jack moments to weigh in on the American situation in a way that paints people as pawns. Why can’t politicians be honest with voters? Why do we need the money, the advertising campaigns and the fuss? As we know from the last few weeks of reality, widespread social change is a little more active than Stewart’s old fantasy. But the filmmaker has a trick up his sleeve: Jack’s daughter Diana (Mackenzie Davis), who despite being presented with her hand on a cow’s butt, is a little more than country asshole Gary assumes What is it. The character gives the movie some surprising and satisfying twists.

Irresistible has the soul to do well Mr smith going to washington and the gags of an experienced and sophisticated comedian. But it could be a while before the film’s message and style click with viewers. In a moment of volatile government action, ideological polarization, Black Lives Matter’s urgent conversation, and the unpredictable upheaval of the coronavirus, Stewart has created a comedy that points both ways. The points are reasonable, but the conclusions are minimal, except for the fact that Carell’s image squeezed into a car parked outside a school in an effort to bypass WiFi is a lot of fun. With IrresistibleStewart is still a fun narrator of the truth. It is simply not telling the truths that are vital to this moment.

Irresistible is currently available to stream on Amazon, Voodooand other rental services.