10 Movies About Politics to Remind Us of the Absurdity of it All

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In anticipation of our forthcoming elections here in the United States I thought I would do my contribution to the get out the vote effort by reminding you that while it is important who we elect to be our leaders, the way we get those leaders and the things they do while in government are totally absurd. I’ve compiled 10 films that I think will make you laugh and will take the edge off of an election that’s been as bitter as the election of Jefferson when John Adams declared that if he were elected “we would see our wives and daughters victims of legal prostitution.” We’ve been saying completely ridiculous things about each other for a very long time, and yet here the Republic still stands. So watch these movies, have a chuckle, and vote knowing that our country is resilient; no matter the outcome we’ll be fine.

1. Black Sheep (1996)

We all just want to help get out the vote but sometimes even with the best of intentions our efforts may actually be hurting our favorite candidates. That’s the case in Black Sheep, starring Chris Farley. This brother just wants to help his brother win the Governorship but the more he tries to help the more of a mess he makes of things. Sometimes it’s okay to leave the mudslinging to the politicians.

2. Canadian Bacon (1995)

If you’re seeing threats everywhere you need to watch this film and remember that perception isn’t always reality. This movie starring John Candy proves the old adage “never waste a crisis” whether it’s real or not. I know a lot of us might be feeling like the world is caving in around us but before you go voting in a panic, remember to think about who benefits from your panic.

3. Dave (1993)

Think about how much of a difference who’s in the White House make? Every election cycle they make the same promises and yet every cycle after that we notice that everything stays the same. In this movie starring Kevin Kline, the President gets switched out for an everyman (that happens to look strikingly like the President). Watch this movie and fantasize about what you would do if you were ever made leader of the free world.

4. Bulworth (1998)

I’m sure a lot of my contemporaries remember the Pras song featuring Mya ‘Ghetto Superstar’; that song was on the soundtrack for this film. You ever watch a campaign rally and wish the politician holding it would tell you what they actually think. Well in this film written, directed, and starring Warren Beatty the politician tells you what is on his mind, while embracing his constituents in a whole new way. Be careful what you wish for when you ask for transparency.

5. Head of State (2003)

A lot of people are drawn to candidates that tell the truth, whether they keep their promises once in office is another story. Laugh out loud as Chris Rock tells it how it is, instead of how you wish it was. Then think about why politicians don’t feel like they can be honest with us.

6. Man of the Year (2006)

No one could pierce the absurd quite like Robin Williams used to. Watch this and ugly cry as you realize that Presidents these days DO HAVE AGENTS.

7. Wag the Dog (1997)

You ever read a headline and think ‘well that doesn’t make sense, why are we doing that’? Well maybe like in Wag the Dog starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman the President needs to bump up his poll numbers. Or maybe it’s just a funny premise for a movie. Either way watch this and have a chuckle before election day.

8. My Fellow Americans (1996)

A lot of people are saying that Republicans and Democrats just need to come together for the good of the country. To give you an idea how that might go just watch this movie starring Jack Lemmon and James Garner. Also make sure you’ve worked on your pelvic floor before you watch this one Mamas. They don’t make funnies like this anymore!

9. The Campaign (2012)

Congress is a mess and if you had told me this movie was a documentary and not a Will Farrell comedy I would have believed you. I don’t know what they’re giving them in the congressional cafeteria but someone needs to test the drinks. Thank goodness Covid has stopped politicians from kissing babies, am I right?

10. Swing Vote (2008)

Maybe you should have voted early if only to keep the fate of all of humanity from resting in your hands. That’s kind of what befalls Kevin Costner’s character in this last film of the list. Remember while your vote does matter and it is your civic duty you won’t be personally responsible for the unraveling of the fabric of space and time…that’ll obviously be the Supreme Court’s fault.

After Election Day we all have to live together, your neighbor is unlikely to be walking into the voting booth hoping that their vote will lead to the eradication of your family. Everyone deep down wants the same things, comfort, enjoyment, a little bit more to provide their family, and a few less important moments missed. Stop giving each other a hard time and don’t let the government (whatever it may look like in January) have so much power over your life.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve watched any of these movies or if you plan on watching any of them to laugh off the madness.

May the odds be ever in your favor,

Author: Grace G.

New Mom and Retired Lawyer trying to share the ride.

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