It would be easy to take this film at its premise and enjoy it solely for its unique hook: actor Dan Butler ("Bulldog" from TV's Frasier), upon discovering his physical resemblance to Republican political bulldog Karl Rove, embarks on a journey to mount a one-man show starring himself as Rove. Along the way, this openly gay actor discovers Rove the man, who ostensibly stands against everything Butler and his circle of biased Hollywood cronies believe in, is someone entirely different than he originally set out to skewer. To view the film this way is to have an enjoyable evening rental at home, but you would be missing so much more that is going on in this unique and subtle satire.
From the opening moments when mostly unseen documentarian Phil Leirness professes his fanaticism for onscreen actor Butler's work, we are in a world of hyper realistic commentary on the culture of celebrity intimacy as the de rigueur in today's society. At a time when we all feel we were close and knew Michael Jackson when he passed without ever having spent one second of time with him in reality, so too does this film magnify the absurdity of human connection with public figures known only to us by the media. Yet it seems so natural, which is why the film works - it seems perfectly normal for Butler to proclaim is love for a man who may actually be, in reality, someone who just might be out to kill him.
The celebrity of politics, the politics of filmmaking, the paranoia of an America where the government may be just as bad as the "bad guys" all are fair play for satire in this pic that can be paired with the best of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries, and what makes it so astonishing is just how believable this completely fictional tale is. Set aside the rental and purchase this film. It demands multiple viewings to get all the jokes, and it also asks the viewer to take a very real and serious look at what it really means to know someone, to love someone, to be the person that you are so that you are loved, and what the consequences can be if we continue to defer that love away from those who are really with us to those who are in the public eye.