According to Variety reviewer John Anderson, “Robin Williams is not particularly funny” in Barry Levinson‘s Man of the Year (Universal, 10.13). “And, as if to compensate, Levinson and editors Steven Weisberg and Blair Daily cut to reaction shots each time [his character]cracks a joke.
“Williams comes off too stiff for a performer who has achieved such widespread popularity. His lines aren’t particularly fresh or crisply delivered, and his manner is, well, mannered. Although much is made of his bachelorhood during the early campaign part of the pic so that one assumes he must be gay, later he falls for [costar Laura Linney‘s character] — which is the smartest thing he does in the movie.
“The best scenes are between Linney and Williams; she raises his game, and his often mawkish sincerity suddenly becomes perfectly natural.
“While there are many implausibilities in Man of the Year, pic eventually overcomes an awkward start and turns into a satisfying candidate for the disposable movie dollar with a story that stays on your mind.”
As opposed to, say, an important, non-disposable movie-dollar attraction that doesn’t stay on your mind?