Eye For Film >> Movies >> Welcome To Mooseport (2004) Film Review
Mooseport is a small northerly American town, with nothing much to say for itself other than it is the home of ex-President Monroe "Eagle" Cole (Gene Hackman), who just landed for retirement and half fancies running for mayor as a cushy wee number to supplement his afternoon golf.
When he finds out that the owner of the hardware store, Handy Harrison (Ray Romano), is the opposing candidate and the local paper headlines it as, "President vs Handyman", he finds himself in a bit of a PR pickle. Hampered by his pushy ex-wife (Christine Baranski), who's after divorce collateral, he finds himself having to juggle more balls than during his time as top dog.
Meanwhile, Handy Andy, in awe of Cole, is happy to step aside, worried about his long term vet girlfriend (Maura Tierney), who has become tired of his indecisiveness and consequently interested in the advances of Mr President. So when Andy eventually gives in to the wishes of the town's folk and accepts the challenge, he finds himself with a good reason to take the Eagle down a peg or two.
In the current age of spin doctors and PR racketeering, Welcome To Mooseport, in the most light-hearted of ways, brings to the forefront questions of what good high-profile politicians would really be like without their right-hand men waiting on them hand and foot. When Cole finds out his 10 handicap had been PR-assisted over the years, he is forced to learn a new lesson about truth versus presentation. Conversely, Handy Andy learns a thing or two about presentation versus truth.
This is a middle of the road rom-com, with decent laughs sprinkled throughout. Hackman is always versatile, and wears his wry trademark smile with considerable aplomb. Romano is ideally cast as the goofy, self-deprecating, big hearted everyman, struggling for the affection of his woman, as well as respect from the town.
The PR scam between the pair of them doubles back on itself once too often and the laughs don't come as thick, or as fast, as they should. Still, if you're pushed for quality viewing on a Friday night, and you're not alone, this may do the trickReviewed on: 26 Sep 2004
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