Swing Vote (Disney, 8.1) is, I’ve been told, “mushy” in a typically Hollywood way. Its main character is a selfish and decidedly jowly bad dad (Kevin Costner) with a sluggish red-state attitude about voting, and the film, I’m hearing, essentially embraces the old cynical saw about politicians being chameleons out for themselves, blah, blah. And that it basically treads water without swimming in this or that direction.
But there doesn’t seem to be much to support the flimsy idea that it has an anti-liberal slant because of the right-leaning views of certain cast members. Costner played golf with the elder George Bush back in the early ’90s, but his political contribution record shows he’s mostly supported liberals. Costars Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper have contributed to right-wing candidates, yes, but they’re just actors doing a job. have been mostly to liberals. (I haven’t been able to determine the political contribution records of director Joshua Michael Stern or co-screenwriter Jason Richman.)
In a piece about Swing Vote that ran a couple of months ago, Politico‘s Jeff Ressner wrote that it’s “likely to draw ire from members of the two major political parties” with “the script [playing] off of stereotypes that annoy and inflame the party faithful on both sides.”
The film “depicts Republican strategists as nasty connivers without souls, willing to change their views on gay marriage and the environment just to get elected,” Ressner noted. “Democratic campaigners are shown to be similarly hypocritical, spinelessly flip-flopping their long-held positions on abortion and immigration to win the election.
√¢‚Ç¨≈ìSwing Vote revolves around a low-life trailer park drunk (Costner) who, by virtue of his young daughter’s idealism, becomes responsible for deciding the fate of a closely tied presidential election. Both the incumbent Republican commander-in-chief (Grammer) and the milquetoast liberal Democrat challenger (Hopper) descend on his small town and vie for his vote by shamelessly courting him, even going so far as to change their strongly-held beliefs to align themselves with what they mistakenly believe are his views.”
In other words, as a conservative-minded blogger commented to Ressner a few weeks back, “It’s about a red-sate dad with a blue-state daughter.”
Swing Vote, Swing Shift, Swing State, Swingtime, Sling Blade.