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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dear Lord Jesus, I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow"
"Dear Lord Jesus," prays Tracy Flick the night before the election for student body president, "I do not often speak with you and ask for things, but now, I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow because I deserve it and Paul Metzler doesn't, as you well know. I realize that it was your divine hand that disqualified Tammy Metzler and now I'm asking...
Published on 1 April 2008 by C. O. DeRiemer

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Matthew Broderick and Reece Witherspoon are both excellent, but the film itself is tedious and disappointing, had to force myself to watch to the end and will now be giving it away to the first person who wants it.
Published 7 months ago by scorpion25


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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly black comedy, 10 Dec. 2005
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
Tracey Flick (Reece Witherspoon) is a high flying and highly ambitious student at a Nebraskan high school. The film follows her campaign to become student-council president. Matthew Broderick plays the part of teacher, Jim McAllister, who loathes the ‘perfect’ Tracey and yet has an overwhelming desire for her. Giving in to his hatred of her, McAllister throws his professionalism aside and encourages a rather dim witted, but very popular jock, Paul Metzler (played by Chris Klein) to run against her whilst also doing his utmost to scupper Tracey’s chances by ‘fixing’ the vote count. Things get even more complicated when Paul’s sister Tammy, the school misfit, also decides to have a shot at the presidency.
This is not the usual teenage high school movie; its humour is far too black for that. The dialogue is brilliantly witty and sharp and has some genuinely ‘laugh out loud’ moments whilst other scenes will make you cringe as the protagonists lives disintegrate before your eyes. The prim and proper Tracey raises feelings of sympathy and revulsion in equal measure while McAllister is a character that deserves everything that comes to him…and come it does. The beauty of this film is in its characterisation, no character is one dimensional but a wonderful mixture of good and bad, all with their flaws.
For anyone wanting a comedy that is black as coal and saccharine free, this is the movie to watch, absolutely brilliant.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superbly Crafted Film, 31 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
Alexander Payne has come up with a film that is such a delight to watch again and again. It is a film which glaringly shows up the fallibility of most human beings. It is also a film where all the characters look normal, not like they've just stepped off the pages of a glossy magazine. I have not seen Broderick and Witherspoon perform better than in Election.
Some people may view Election as too cynical for their tastes. Indeed, if you want an idealistic film, you should look elsewhere. But if want a film that shows up the weaknesses inherent in all of us, you can do no better than Election.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent satire of school politics., 17 Jan. 2003
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Election [VHS] [1999] (VHS Tape)
Alexander Payne's earlier material, Citizen Ruth and this comedy from 1999, might gain more interest with the upcoming release of About Schmidt (2003)- that has garnered both critical acclaim & commercial success in the States (and appears to have a brilliant performance from Jack Nicholson, on a par with his turn in The Pledge). This film is, bizarrely, produced by MTV- which appears to be at odds with the bite it has & the fact MTV have produced such lame PC-drivel like Save the Last Dance.
The story is centred around student politics & adult indisgression's- parts of this film reminded me of writers like Philip Roth & Jonathan Franzen (the affair between Tracy & Dave reminded me a little of the Chip-section in The Corrections). Following the dismissal & destruction of co-teacher Dave Novotny, Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick in a career best performance) vaguely blames Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon). Tracy is one of the over-ambitious, the sole candidate for student president. In an unconscious (?) act of revenge, Mr M. talks an injured football player (American Pie's Chris Klein) into standing against her. Add to this a complication when the lesbian sister of the football player is left by a cheerleader for her brother- precipitating an anarchistic third candidate.
Election is an excellent satire, personally I rate it over recent misanthropic films like Happiness and American Beauty- alongside Lawn Dogs, it is one of the best portraits of America in recent years. Look at this film, then look at the debacle in Florida 2000's "Election" that saw George Dubya get "elected". So, is Dubya the Klein-character- rich, everything handed to him on a plate, with people prepared to send him in as a patsy to defeat the enemy, get their own perspective on board, slightly dim & part of the jock establishment? Or, is he Tracy- who will do anything, including getting "friends and associates" to count her results, trash the enemy while painting over her own misdeameanours & threatening legal action when things aren't going her way? Either way, I'm with Tammy and her "F**k everything" notion- it's notable that she garners the true popular vote here, though has been discounted from the election when falling on her own sword...
The tone of this film is quite odd, pitiful (Dave at the end of the film) & unusual (Linda, Dave's ex-wife is not that attractive, ditto Jim & Diana); Reese Witherspoon delivers a brilliant performance. The moment where she realises she loses is great, particularly the after-shot of her crying on her bed: literally destructing on-screen and reminding me of Charlotte Rampling in Stardust Memories (1980). The final moments of the film see Jim reinvent himself, pitying Tracy when he sees her for the last time- you do get the feeling her ambitions have made her the loneliest person in the world (hey, I even thought about Nixon. Or, at least, Anthony Hopkins interpretation of him in Oliver Stone's film). Love the hilarious end scene, where eternal recurrence appears in Jim's utopic new life...
Election is an excellent black comedy, proof that Americans can do irony & satire at the drop of a hat- countering the frequent British accusations that they can't do either (as we make classics like Purely Belter, Bend it like Beckham & Mean Machine!!). It's a lot more adult than most US-teen movies, which tend to hinge around sex and farting in a juvenile manner. Highly recommended and at this budget price, a bargain!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Election? I haven't heard of that before, 17 April 2001
This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
It's amazing how, without marketing spend, a film can be overlooked and almost dissapear without trace. This could be one of them. There is one small difference from many others though - this film is very, very good. American Beauty was released around the same time and took all of the limelight but I must admit that I prefer Election. It is a very clever script and entertains to the very end - especially the last scene with the little 'enthusiastic' pupil in the museum. I love the way the story shows how the determination to interfere with destiny can change his life - for the worst!
The narration used by each of the characters really works too and helps you to gain an emotional attachment to them. Usually with some films, you couldn't care less what happens to certain characters in a film but this is not the case with Election.
Matthew Broderick is perfect for the character - he doesn't look like a 'bad guy' in any way and his attempts to deceive are therefore suitably unsuccessful.
A truly great film which I will encourage everyone I know to see.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What's The Difference Between Ethics And Morals?!, 14 April 2013
This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
Very much enjoyed it, (even though I've seen it a few times before). RW and MB are the two stand out actors. The chap from American Pie is good to some extent at what he does.
The film is seen from various view points and it explores, in perhaps a light hearted way, the darker side of the human personality. From people stepping on top of one another to get to the top to lustful desires.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never mind "American Beauty"..., 13 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
"Election" was robbed. It came out around the time of "American Beauty", and was obscured by its shadow...
Reese Witherspoon plays an ambitious student who has put herself forward for election as School President. She stands unopposed. Matthew Broderick plays the teacher who would be forced to endure her after-school meetings. And so a plot is hatched...
Election is properly funny. American Beauty missed the mark. Election hits it square on. Get it. Go on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Matthew Broderick film since Ferris Buller, 31 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great film. Reese Witherspoon is brilliant in her role as a model student. Matthew Broderick's descent into misery is entertaining to watch as is Flick's meteoric rise into politics. It has some really humorous moments and is really worth a watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Works every time, 19 Oct. 2014
By 
Mr. E. A. Dobson "dwardstings" (West Yorkshire,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
The only film by Alexander Payne I really love, the only ones I've not seen are The Descendants & Nebraska. Possibly still Reece Witherspoon's finest hour and the whole cast are just as good. A really smart and funny film which I've watched many times.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Razor-sharp satire, 23 Jan. 2010
By 
shpadoinkle - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of those films that doesn't really have any real 'good guys', or anyone to really root for. They are all very flawed characters - with only rare moments of likability. But strangely enough, I really didn't mind this, as the characters are still extremely watchable, and you NEED to know what happens to them, whether it's good or bad. It's so well-written - I ended up putting subtitles on to catch every word.
However, this is a satire - it's not a comedy. It's very clever and witty, but it's also dark and dry. This isn't a criticism - it was great - but it's not for belly-laughing. You need to settle down to watch it - you're not going to be particularly uplifted.
But Reese Witherspoon is fantastic, and it's one of the best high school films there is. It's definately worth watching.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 28 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Election [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
Matthew Broderick and Reece Witherspoon are both excellent, but the film itself is tedious and disappointing, had to force myself to watch to the end and will now be giving it away to the first person who wants it.
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Election [1999] [DVD]
Election [1999] [DVD] by Alexander Payne (DVD - 2000)
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