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Swing Vote

Politically neutral father/daughter drama
By CHRIS WANGLER  |  July 30, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

In this Capra-esque mix of reality and fantasy, Kevin Costner once again milks his heartland persona as a good-for-nothing boob from Texico, New Mexico, whose vote will decide the presidential election. At first the candidates (Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper) come off as equally boobish, but it soon becomes clear that they’re only sympathetic pawns in the hands of their Rove-like campaign handlers (Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane). Some clever scenes lay bare the excesses of campaign TV culture, but overall the humor is as lame as anything on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. (Air Force One is “kinda like a trailer with wings.”) That said, director Joshua Michael Stern did not set out to make a comedy or a PSA to disaffected voters or even a reminder of the 2000 election. This is a politically neutral father/daughter drama, and as such it gets my vote, even if the daughter (Madeline Carroll) is a little too perfect in every conceivable way. 119 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Chestnut Hill + Suburbs

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