Man of the Year

Man of the Year has all the makings of a good-time political satire. The commercials make it look like a laugh riot. As it turns out, Man of the Year is a dopey political thriller penned by writer-director Barry Levinson, a guy who seems long past his prime. Robin Williams plays Tom Dobbs, a Jon Stewart-type talk-show host who likes to rail against the government during his pre-show standup routine. When a member of his audience suggests he should run for president, he decides to give it a go. He finds himself in the race, and we think we are in for some nice political satire, right in time for elections and the next presidential campaign. Instead, we get a “Big Corporations Are Bad!” cautionary tale about a crooked company that makes faulty voting machines. I can’t imagine a more uninteresting topic for a film, yet Levinson turns it into the movie’s focus. Williams ceased being funny a long time ago; Levinson was never funny, and Laura Linney makes an ass of herself in a supporting role.


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