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Man of the Year

Not the movie of the year
By BRETT MICHEL  |  October 11, 2006
2.0 2.0 Stars

“The free world will be led by a comedian,” intones pundit Chris Matthews in Barry (Wag the Dog) Levinson’s latest fusion of humor and politics. Alas, Matthews is prone to misreporting, so it’s no surprise to learn that the election of the Bill Maher–like Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) to the Oval Office resulted from digital hanging chads in the automated “Delacroy” voting system. System designer Eleanor Green (Laura Linney) raises questions but is quickly silenced by Delacroy’s top lawyer (Jeff Goldblum). One unlikely relationship with the prez-elect later, Green tells Dobbs the truth. Williams’s shtick was fresh in Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam, but he was still fueled by coke. Here the only powder is in the colonial wig he dons, and his routine’s just as stale. With the fate of the presidency and the democratic process itself dangling near the political abyss, does Dobbs do the right thing? Look no farther than the film’s title — even Dubya could figure this one out.

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