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Overall Rating
4.54

Awesome58.46%
Worth A Look: 38.46%
Just Average: 2.05%
Pretty Crappy: 0.51%
Sucks: 0.51%

18 reviews, 87 user ratings


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Election (1999)
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by Thom

"MTv produces something not embarassing to thinking people"
4 stars

Surprisingly sophisticated and complex for what could have been a lighthearted rock driven lifestyle advertisement for the adolescent eMpTyV set. Late 20, early 30 somethings will relate to this film as readily as the teen audience.

The ridiculousness and complexity of both adulthood and adolescence are played with in this funny, convincing movie.

An overachieving high school student (Reese Witherspoon) runs into a Social Studies teacher (Matthew Broderick) who is determined to bring her back down to earth.

The film relies on some tried and true stereotypes, like the dumb jock, the image-oriented, success-obsessed overachiever , and the disaffected homosexual adolescent. but the characters are well-rounded and instead of seeing just the stereotype, the characters are fleshed out and the high school characters are tempered with that limited insight that makes them seem like real high school students. MTv knows what teenagers actually experience. The characters are more "john hughes-esque" in that regard. They are dealing with adult issues, and understanding their importance, but their scope of experiencing or understanding and making sense of those issues is somewhat limited.

Even the way adolescent homosexuality was treated showed sensitivity and insight, but was still framed with the adolescent approach to love and relationships. It was like every other high school crush, love of your life, confusion, the only one in the world, forever and ever kind of thing. I was glad they didn't show the gay character as tragic or lonely or different or unacceptable. And she steals part of the movie with her speech about teen apathy and the pointlessness of student government.

The adults in this film were portrayed in a somewhat simplistic way. The situations they find themselves hinted at the adult equivalent of adolescent relationship issues. Such as "you cheated on me with my best friend". The adults in this movie are not shown making any effort to deal with these kinds of problems. The solution to infidelity or transgression in the adult world, it seems, is to shut the door and walk away. The men are the offenders in this film. They lapse in judgement and have to pay the price by literally being exiled from their families, their jobs and their hometowns.

Its like when the girl breaks up with the boy, but the boy and the girl have all the same friends and the friends "side" with the girl so the boy has to go off and start all over again.

Election is masterful, even if unintended, at reflecting adolescence and adulthood off each other. Some of the more fun parts are the cliche' responses by adults in authority to youth "insubordination".
A young, rock music audience, and their older forebears in the arena of youthful rebellion and social consciousness will instantly recognize the irony and the implied mockery of the these scenes. The film reinforces the attitude that a healthy disrespect for beurocratic authority is a good thing.

The characters were drawn with simple motivations that existed purely in the space of the script and only rarely did you get a glimpse of the larger implications of a character spread out over the time before the script and after but those glimpses were enough to let the audience fill in the story about a character.

The camp element adds the kind of color and caricature you come to expect from John Waters with just enough verisimilitude to keep the audience from missing some of the important social commentary woven underneath the plot, much like Water's recent "Pecker".

Election is multi-dimensional enough to "discover" the characters outside the scope of the script without patronizing your ability to do so by leading you to the proverbial well and wondering if you'll drink. The film suggest that there is water elsewhere and you are sure to find it if you are thirsty.

As an added bonus, the film has plenty of universally experienced situations and vicariously satisfying responses to them.

The sex in this film is dealt with in a more European way than the prudish, American of Victorian influence, manner, that is typical of an (especially young) American audience. The Teen Film grows up. And with it, the rest of America.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=438&reviewer=67
originally posted: 05/10/99 15:56:14
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User Comments

12/28/17 morris campbell funny satire on high school 4 stars
3/30/17 Blake Patterson Alexander Payne wrote Election with furious hilarity and dark passion. 5 stars
4/26/16 Ken Pretty funny. Matthew Broderick was great in this film. 4 stars
5/21/15 David Hollingsworth A savagely funny satire that hits like darts 5 stars
11/21/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
9/03/07 Alan "Slap, then screw" -- is that how you relate to the female sex? 5 stars
10/02/06 Rob It should be said that the wardrobes and 'makeup' in this movie are subtly awesome. 4 stars
9/18/06 MP Bartley Genuinely brilliant. Witherspoon and Broderick are outstanding. 5 stars
2/25/06 Clubber Lang Watchable, but never really engaging. Too many characters, needed more focus. 3 stars
9/06/05 ALDO chris klein is perfect 4 stars
5/25/05 Jake Hilarious! 5 stars
3/24/05 indrid cold Surprisingly good, almost bizarrely good. 5 stars
12/07/03 Samuel A very funny film!! 4 stars
11/26/03 he a great film 5 stars
11/23/03 E. Best line "her pussy gets so wet" 5 stars
11/05/03 M. Suvajac an extraordinary film 5 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston Broderick clothes (those shirts & ties) are perfect for the fat ass dufess he plays. 5 stars
9/24/03 ILLEGALLY BLONDE The only time Reese Witherspoon ever shined; too bad it's in an overall groaner 3 stars
7/26/03 robert buizer great laugh 5 stars
4/03/03 Jack Sommersby Smart and hilariously human. Broderick and Witherspoon are outstanding. 4 stars
12/08/02 Kyle One of the greatest films I've ever seen. I don't say that lightly. 5 stars
11/02/02 Steve Kaczynski One of the last US films of the 20th century that I would call great.. 5 stars
10/17/02 Charles Tatum This sucks as bad as "Rushmore" 1 stars
8/24/02 movie guy great 5 stars
6/11/02 Millie Maelstrom Better, Kakararaniniginjia (though I was hoping for some groovy role for those enzymes!) 3 stars
5/14/02 Kakararaniniginjia Sinitraviwasanjofraz Fails urgent need of good support cast around brilliance of Reese Witherspoon's zany dliver 3 stars
3/07/02 Mo Anand A very funny movie...Matthew was better in "ferris bueller"...but still good 4 stars
3/05/02 Veronica Foxx -The Raven-Haired Temptress ELECTION deserves more credit and attention than it has received. Too bad really, good film 4 stars
3/01/02 Unagiboy Pick Flick! Witherspoon was brilliant. I loved the tribal chant music in her mind. 5 stars
2/25/02 Obi Wan Great Movie...MTv should make more flicks like this!! Instead of their PC garbage!! 5 stars
2/02/02 Allison Lafferty Reese Witherspoon's best movie (not saying much). She must really be that silly. 2 stars
1/23/02 John Wilner Note that Tracy signs her name with a star over the i in Flick. Rich detail throughout! 5 stars
11/15/01 John This deserved at least one Oscar 5 stars
11/12/01 Jake Not too shabby. 4 stars
11/03/01 Andrew Carden This Movie Was So Funny and Reese Was The Greatest Thing Ever! 5 stars
10/29/01 Gary Witty, subtle, well written and Reese Witherspoon is a star in the making. 5 stars
9/04/01 Butterbean Ferris Bueller's principal is avenged. Definantly an awesome flick! Reese rocked! 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Insanely original. Broderick's best since Ferris Bueller. I loved it. 5 stars
7/23/01 bobbuttons This movie is so great. "Fuck me, Mr. M. Fuck me now" is the greatest line. 5 stars
6/10/01 Serial_Monk_the_Jawbreaker Great characters. Not too funny, but if this movie's trying to be evil, it succeeds 4 stars
5/31/01 BrainPan Yes, yes, ya'll! Me rikee!! 5 stars
4/09/01 Gary I saw it for the first time last night, and I loved it. Great flick! 5 stars
4/08/01 Will Y. it takes time to understand a lot of the underlying meaning about sexuality, but it's great 4 stars
2/06/01 Trashstar Witty, sharp, dark and very very funny. Reese shines as does Matthew. 5 stars
10/15/00 Dimmer Itch Reese proves she's better at any Sandras, Camerons or Heathers at comic acting. Fantastic. 4 stars
10/08/00 BirdBrain Very funny, if you pay attention to it. So if you're a dumbass Armageddon fan, stay away. 4 stars
7/12/00 Tom Wonderful dark comedy. Vote for Tracy Flick!!!!! 5 stars
7/06/00 Matthew Bartley Very different and funny.Reese is great 4 stars
6/26/00 stranded on the Island Best comedy I've seen in a long time; reese and matthew are perfect! 5 stars
6/02/00 Add A very good movie with some outstanding performances but just not as funny as i'd of liked. 4 stars
5/07/00 Stan Mador BEST MOVIE IVE SEEN! 5 stars
4/28/00 The Bomb 69 to intelligent for most people and that's unfortunate, great movie!!! 5 stars
4/24/00 Brian Engen The special effects were awesome!! 5 stars
2/20/00 arnold extremely funny 5 stars
2/14/00 Germanicus Good acting, a few funny bits, nice story and snappy editing but infinitely overrated. 4 stars
2/05/00 Kyle Broflovski A teenage girl in pursuit of something besides Prom Prince Charming?? PINCH ME!!! :-) 5 stars
1/26/00 Joel Harwood WHAT A FILM 5 stars
1/18/00 bullit17 Clever. Funny. Thought-provoking. Sure to remind you of high school and some kids you knew 4 stars
1/16/00 Will not to be too wordy, but all I have to say is "cool". 4 stars
11/29/99 Mic Sharp and hilarious - shows Drop Dead Gorgeous how it should be done 5 stars
11/08/99 Mark Linkson Broderick finally acts his age, Witherspoon excellent as usual, a very clever satire 4 stars
10/18/99 Tfer One of the best this year! 5 stars
8/22/99 Michael Grimm too well written for most retards watching movies nowadays, anyone with a brain loves it 5 stars
8/01/99 Jeff Hilarious and intelligent. Great acting. A should-be Best Picture nominee 5 stars
7/27/99 David Gilmour Definitely the best film of the Year, SO Far;7/99 5 stars
7/09/99 bridgette awesome. 5 stars
7/08/99 Ann Great! It's about time someone exposed the truths behind a 'little miss perfect' 5 stars
6/29/99 PhilmPhreak A welcome break from weak-ass summer flicks. 5 stars
6/29/99 Dave Rad as 5 stars
6/23/99 Tim best movie i've seen this year 5 stars
6/18/99 Michael Lewis Best film I,ve seen this year. Intelegent, well written and funny! 5 stars
6/14/99 David Really funny, and probably like nothing you've seen before, not even Rushmore. 5 stars
6/04/99 Lisa Sick and wrong on so many levels--I loved it! 5 stars
6/03/99 Mel I haven't felt this guilty laughing at a movie in a long time.... 5 stars
6/03/99 The Graduate A hilarous movie, heavy on the cruelty. Sometimes those perfectionist have to pay. 5 stars
5/27/99 pipeman If you like your humor dark, you'll love this. Great flick! 5 stars
5/26/99 GothamDK Got to be a little jaded. Type A students won't get it. Heathers is still better. 4 stars
5/25/99 Freyja Smart and FUNNY! 5 stars
5/22/99 bridgette loved it! i usually am not a reese fan, but she was great. 5 stars
5/20/99 Bob, Lord of Evil I won't say fuck Star Wars, but I'd rather see this a third time over that one... 5 stars
5/17/99 David K Fuck Star Wars 5 stars
5/10/99 Malbert It was great 5 stars
5/10/99 Katie Definately a great one, love the dark humor. 5 stars
5/07/99 BraveFan Richly satisfying - witty and engaging - saw it twice 5 stars
4/25/99 kam it'was ok 4 stars
4/25/99 Mr Showbiz A feralessly dark and funny adult comedy. 5 stars
4/11/99 the DUDE Matthew Brodrick is great-Fucking funny 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-Apr-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  07-Oct-1999 (M)




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