You ever have one of those days where you're trying to do something nice for someone, or a group of someones, and it just doesn't work out the way you want it to? The nice thing that you do, the person gets upset about? Or it messes up? Or whatever? I feel like I have those all the time, although I know that's not really true. However, it was true last Friday. The last Friday of summer...
As it is with many couples, my wife and I don't get out together very often.It's a combination of kids and money. I'll leave that to you to figure out. But I knew my wife wanted to go see The Campaign, and, with our oldest off in Maine, we didn't have free babysitting available. However, I also knew that my younger two kids wanted to go see Ice Age: Continental Drift (I wanted to see that, too, but I can eventually catch it on DVD). It just so happens that the movies are virtually the same length, and it just so happened that our theater was starting them Friday afternoon just five minutes apart. I figured it was the perfect opportunity for my wife and I to catch Campaign while the younger two watched Ice Age.
The problem was that I didn't tell anyone my plan.
What can I say? I wanted it to be a surprise. So my wife got home from work, lunch waiting for her, and I told her we were leaving in 30 minutes or so but didn't tell her what we were doing other than going to the bank, which I needed to do, and dropping something by the post office. She assumed I was taking her to see with the kids some movie (Ice Age) she didn't want to see. Plus, according to everyone else, it was hot, and there were complaints about driving around in the hot car. But, see, I grew up in the south where it's not just hot but about 80% humidity all the time, so it really has to get over 100 before I feel the heat out here.
By the time we got to the theater, everyone was cranky, and my wife was more and more assuming that we were taking the kids to a movie that she didn't want to go see. Basically, she'd rather been at home. But I bought the tickets, and my wife realized that she didn't have to go see Ice Age, but, then, my daughter freaked out because she realized that we weren't going to see the movie with them. So I went from being in trouble for one thing to getting in trouble for something else.
I bought them (the kids) popcorn, and that (mostly) made everything better.
My kids loved the new Ice Age, just by the way for any of you out there with kids. They came out wanting to tell us all about it, which is not something they're prone to doing, so it must have been really good. I'm looking forward to actually watching it with them once it hits DVD.
As for The Campaign, well, my wife laughed all the way through it. And with good reason, too. This is the best straight up comedy Will Ferrell has made since, probably, Anchorman. Yeah, sure, some (a lot) of the humor is beyond belief, but, when you look at politics these days, maybe not too much beyond belief (especially when you have a man named Weiner texting pictures of his weiner).
I didn't realize the movie was set in the south going into it, so I was worried about the whole accent thing as the movie started up, but all of the actors did a great job. There was none of the over exaggeratedness you sometimes get with actors trying to do southern accents, so that was a pleasant surprise. And, speaking of accents, Karen Maruyama was amazing! Seriously amazing.
Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow were excellent as the Motch brothers. But, then, both of them are long time favorites of mine, so I could be a bit biased. However, I would say they complemented each other nicely. Jason Sudeikis was great, and Dylan McDermott was rather chilling as the campaign manager. And funny.
Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were gold.
The most interesting bits of the film were the various political statements, the most telling of which was the statement that we have or are making legal all these horrible things that businesses do, and we're doing it because of money. That's the real message behind the movie, that everything is run by money, but, then, I think we all know that. As Cam Brady says (or something very close to this), "I'm a great politician, but I'm a bad congressman."
If you like Ferrell, this movie should be a must see. Even if you don't like Ferrell, it may be worth seeing. There is actually a core of content, real content, in this movie that is not always present in Ferrell's movies.