Written and directed by Jon Stewart, Irresistible is a comedy about what happens when a small Wisconsin town becomes the main attraction of our political circus. After the Democrat’s top strategist Gary (Steve Carell) sees a video of a retired Marine Colonel (Chris Cooper) standing up for the rights of his town’s undocumented workers, Gary believes he has found the key to winning back the Heartland. However, when the Republicans counter him by sending in his brilliant nemesis Faith (Rose Byrne), what started out as a local race quickly becomes an out-of-control fight for the soul of America.
Politics are a touchy subject, now more than ever. We live in a crazy and scary world, and ever so often, you may feel the urge to watch a somewhat goofy, over-the-top political satire, and if that’s the case, Irresistible should do the trick.
This is an extremely breezy and highly enjoyable movie. It presents its topics and arguments in a way that is easily digestible, almost to a fault though. It’s definitely the biggest issue with the film as a whole – it doesn’t really leave you feeling anything major. For a film with a synopsis like the one I mentioned above, you would think it would be a decently engaging story, but instead, its a rather linear story that is full of enough jokes and good acting along the way to make it enjoyable.
There are moments of greatness here, especially in the first act. It seemed like for a while it would actually tell a compelling story of a close race between two political parties with a satirical edge to it, but ultimately loses its grip a little while into the second act.
But that doesn’t mean this is a bad film, however. It may not have the most enjoyable plot, but it is quite hilarious. It’s an expertly-paced film with barely any time for a breather, and that’s a good thing. There are plenty of jokes around each corner here, and nearly all of them put a big smile on my face, and some even caused me to laugh out loud.
What makes these jokes even funnier is the way Steve Carell delivers them. He is without a doubt, in my opinion, one of the greatest comedic actors of all-time. There is just something so oddly enjoyable at watching him say anything, really. At times, his performance here does feel what would happen if Michael Scott from The Office dabbled into politics, but it’s amusing and comforting to watch nevertheless.
Carell has terrific chemistry with all of his co-stars too, namely Chris Cooper and Mackenzie Davis, who also deliver great performances. There truthfully isn’t a weak link amongst the entire cast. They all come together to deliver remarkable comedic performances that are infectious to watch unfold.
On a technical level, Irresistible is also quite the treat. It’s one of the best looking comedies I have seen in at least a year. Director of photography Bobby Bukowski managed to bring to life the fictitious town of Deerlaken, Wisconsin beautifully. The town feels so alive and bustling with happy, passionate citizens during virtually every scene. The clear blue skies and the impressive architecture of the buildings will surely put a smile on your face.
Could this movie have done a better job of telling the satirical story of a small Wisconsin town caught in the middle of a close election? Yes, absolutely. But it’s still a deeply funny, beautifully-shot, and well-acted comedy that should put a smile on your face as it did me.
Irresistible‘s satirical storyline often feels a bit underdeveloped, but it’s saved by the wonderfully funny jokes and comedic timing of Steve Carell.
Overall Grade: B-
MPAA Rating: R for language including sexual references
Directed by: Jon Stewart
Distributed by: Focus Features
Release Date: June 26, 2020
Running Time: 102 minutes