How can Jon Stewart, one of the masters of political satire, with his long stint on The Daily Show at Comedy Central, write and direct such a mediocre film such as IRRESISTIBLE? It’s almost unforgivable. And while I never saw his first movie, Rosewater, more of a political drama than anything else, that debuted to lukewarm reviews in theaters several years ago…after seeing this, I don’t know if I want to take my chances. Like I mentioned in my previous review, My Spy, this is another film that was supposed to hit theaters late May, but is now instead a $19.99 48 hr rental on most streaming platforms. I initially was going to actually pay the $19.99 out of my own pocket (the only one I have rented at that hefty of a price tag was for The King Of Staten Island, and that was fortunately worth every penny). But then the reviews started to come out in advance of its 6/26 debut, and I decided to hold back. Thank Christ I did, as that Friday I entered several contests to win free rental codes to watch it, and I actually won three of those contests (don’t ask about/for the other two, already gave them to cinephile friends like myself). Do I recommend spending $19.99 to even those most die hard political activists that desperately want to check this out? Absolutely fucking not. The only thing I would recommend is watching the last 10 to 15 minutes of this film when it eventually comes on Netflix or something else. The late act twist and end credits is clearly what Jon Stewart was trying to write a whole fictional movie around, when instead he should’ve just made what would’ve been a much more interesting, and much more to say voice wise, documentary.
Jon Stewart would make an excellent documentary filmmaker. His fictional writing needs a shit load more work. Irresistable is very, very, very, very boring. Save for the last 10 to 15 minutes and end credits, this product is a total misfire. You know the saying “more bark than bite”? Here, there is absolutely no bite, and the bark is more like silent whimpers that you can only hear if your ear is right up to the canine’s snout. This movie is too on the nose with its political satire, jokes and insights. Everything that the film is trying to say, whether it’s how much money is wasted on political campaigns to how to manipulate the voters and the system, is just “no duh” logic here. The jokes aren’t witty, the dialogue isn’t witty, it just presents to you the facts that we already kind of know to be true, accompanied by lame punch lines that repeatedly ask the obvious question, “do…do you get it?” Yes, we fucking get it, and we knew all of this before hand Mr. Stewart. You had great insight whenever you were on The Daily Show, so why did you decide to write and direct a political satire with absolutely nothing new to say? Especially this election year, 2020, where you could’ve just made a documentary that represents the here and now on current candidates running in the fall? Why did we get a film that was just plain boring and unfunny? Mr. Stewart, if you ever read this, and you probably never will, let me give you some advice: do not write a fictional story around your “neat” plot twist that you came up with and did some real research on. You are only asking for trouble when any screenwriter/director does this. A plot twist not a movie make.
Per IMDB.com, Irresistible involves” “A Democratic strategist that helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town.” However, when the 2004 film Welcome To Mooseport (Gene Hackman’s last film that co-starred fucking Ray Romano when he hadn’t had his career resurgence yet with The Big Sick) is better than this garbage, and that film was a least somewhat enjoyable garbage, you know you have a problem. The only thing redeemable about this movie is the final twist that the movie was built from, the end credits, and Rose Bryne stealing every scene she is in, but what else is new with that? She’s not even in the movie enough for it to make a bit of a difference. Steve Carell and Chris Cooper, veterans of comedy and drama, don’t help matters much by completely being on autopilot the entire time. And that doesn’t make any sense with the former, as Carell and Stewart are best buddies from their time on The Daily Show. Surely Carell could’ve acted more like he wanted to be there. The main problem with this film is that, when you are supposed to be a comedy, and you barely elicited even a chuckle the entire hour and 40 minute run time, you are no longer a comedy, you are an absolute bore.
I’m serious though when I think Jon Stewart could make a powerful documentary. In the closing credits to this film, Jon Stewart briefly interviews a person that was in politics, and they discuss whether the twist in Jon Stewart’s film could actually happen. Sorry, not giving away that twist here. But what this real life person reveals, in just a few short sentences, was more shocking and more interesting than the entire film that came before it. And the info given to us wasn’t fictional, it didn’t have dolly shots or any interesting angles, it was just a camera on a guy, with a simple question being asked to them: “Can this happen?” And it was great. If Jon Stewart could take that, make it into a 90 to 120 minute political documentary, but have it deal with issues that are more relevant and interesting to what we are going through currently, he could honestly be the next Michael Moore. But with a more legitimate and less biased approach and voice. He could literally make a difference in the world with what he has to say. He did it with The Daily Show, what is stopping him now? I’ll tell you exactly what: a half-assed fictional satire story that will put you to sleep…one that nobody asked for or needed. Resist seeing this movie at all costs…maybe someday Stewart can give us something more powerful where we’ll end up not being able to help ourselves and listen.