Man Of The Year

Man Of The Year


Barry Levinson is a curious filmmaker - making greats like 'Diner' & goods like 'Rain Main', to the very average 'Wag The Dog' & and the terrible 'Envy'.... More

Here he re-teams with 'Good Morning Vietnam' star Robin Williams - in an adventerous blend of comedy, drama, romance, and political thriller. The story follows comedian Tom Dobbs and his accidental rise to power, after successfully running in the election for president of the United States.Hide

Flicks Review

'Man of the Year' is an awkward lump of a film, maybe one to watch on long-haul aeroplane flights where bland time-filler is welcomed but not at a cinema where your fifteen bucks will be chewed up and spat out and leave you crying in a gutter.

Robin Williams (Sometimes great but usually saccharine) plays Tom Dobbs, a television comedian who gets encouraged to run for presidency. Meanwhile, a software company has devised a new, more 'efficient' voting system. Due to a glitch in the software, Dobbs gets elected as the leader of the United States of America . Laura Linney, a busy-body who discovers the glitch, has to summon the courage to tell Dobbs the truth, even if it means risking their burgeoning romance or attracting trouble from the evil corporation eager to shut her up.

From the above synopsis, you might be able to tell that this film tries to include a little bit of everything, whether it be comedy, drama, romance, thrills or political satire. The result just doesn't sit together very nicely. It's awkward. Also, does anyone else think that Laura Linney is one of the most boring actresses around? Aside from the excellent 'Kinsey', I'd say that putting her in a romantic role would be a bad move. She's passionless in 'Man of the Year'. A complete bore.

The usually-likeable Jeff Goldblum turns up here as the boss of the software company in scenes which seem like they've been inserted after test screenings alerted the filmmakers to story confusion. There's one clunky moment where Goldblum announces to no-one in particular that "If news about this glitch gets out, we'll be ruined." End of scene. Wow, great screenwriting there. Furthermore, the actual glitch is so ridiculously childishly obvious that the film has to work twice as hard from then on to retain any credibility.

The good points, however, include Robin Williams, Robin Williams, and Robin Williams. Like him or not, he plays a strong character here - a man of principle and good-hearted morals who finds himself a little out of his depth. Fans of his stand-up routines will be pleased to see him deliver a barrage of one-liners and pithy remarks.

The popularity of such arrogant shmucks like John Stewart from The Daily Show (Which is even referenced at one point) means that Dobbs' situation is believable even if his method of election isn't. It's a good idea - a political talk-show host becoming president of the United States. But it's fumbled, and it gets buried in an underwhelming mash-up of a film.

[By Andrew Hedley]

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 6 reviews
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Yeah, ok, it was a missed opportunity in 2007, but I just watched it again in Jan 2012 (in light of talk-show comic Stephen Colbert "running" for Republican party nominee) and, well, it ain't nearly as biting as Barry Levinson's former political comedy, WAG THE DOG, but it's an entertaining "what if" story nonetheless. Problem is, it can't decide if it's social commentary OR comedy - but why can't it be both? Shame really. Nonetheless, it's entertaining and at least TRIES to... More be something different. If you liked the de Niro movie WHAT JUST HAPPENED? or Levinson's WAG THE DOG, you may just be able to forgive the saccharine centre. Certainly worth a look...Hide

Sad really, i do enjoy Robin Williams standup (which this was a pure self-indulgent platform for), but this was just sad.

It is an ok watch but i can only give it 5 out of ten. Robin Williams had a few good jokes and one liners, but it was formula comedy and predictable. Not particularly original, but if all the other movies seem a little not to your liking, then this will suffice if your not too intent on anything but a few laughs sprinkled sparingly throughout the storyline. Love Christopher Walken, could watch him watching paint dry, the cast were passable, but not a top effort.

Good idea reach the wider audience . It was probablybank rolled by Ralph Nader.Conspiracy in every Big Business deal..Dodgy voting mechanics.The evilness of corporate money,some saccarine uncalled for naive love scenes and uneven emotional play from the supporting cast who are evidently overwhelmed by the celebrity status of Walkin and Williams aka the worlds fastest indian.

Flotsum and Jetsum will turn up in a three hour saturday night movie on channel 3 one year from now ... More after itsd done the looped rounds of SKY .Forgettable in every way.Hide

This film was more a story about Linney’s character Eleanor Green than Williams’ Tom Dobbs as advertised in the trailers. Also what was touted as a feel good movie about a comedian turned leader of the free world, seemed more sinister than advertised. The plotline was a little contrived but interesting, it dealt with conspiracies & politics, action & farce. Not what I expected.
This film seemed to be a mish mash of several familiar films but you don’t hold it against Levinson,... More though the dialogue rambled on too long on more than one occasion.
The political points of “Man of the Year” aren’t overwhelming, in fact are barely noticeable so the young wouldn’t oppose it.
Christopher Walken was easily forgettable as “Tom Dobb’s” manager but Williams was in his element, bringing his usual unique brand of humour to the table. The endless stream of jokes had the audience in constant amusement.
Linney’s character -supposed to seem crazy, was played far too nervous for my tastes. One to watch.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • Levinson diverts his film into a political thriller with its own conspiracy theory, an improbable romance and a curious subplot that feels like an anti-smoking ad. Little wonder his bewildered star, Robin Williams, looks confused much of the time... Full Review

  • This is a film that is worse than devoid of ideas; it's actually deeply conservative, even reactionary, concluding that things are really best left as they are... Full Review

  • The film is laughable when it tries to be dramatic and stone-faced when it strains to be funny. Beyond that, Man of the Year is often so wildly off the mark in its depiction of how elections are run, it's hard to believe that it was directed by the same guy who helmed "Wag the Dog," one of the savviest political films ever made... Full Review

  • A curious hybrid -- a political/action/comedy/thriller in which Robin Williams becomes president of the United States. A movie as uneven as it sounds, "Man" is less laugh-out-loud funny than topical and suspenseful... Full Review

  • A movie that can be smart-funny and astutely topical. But if what you're expecting is a start-to-finish laugh fest, beware: This picture takes some detours and never really figures out what kind of movie it wants to be... Full Review