Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner
), an apathetic, beer-slinging, lovable loser, is coasting through a life that has passed him by. The one bright spot is his precocious, over-achieving 12-year-old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll
). She takes care of both of them, until one mischievous moment on Election Day, when she accidentally sets off a chain of events that culminate in the election coming down to one vote... her dad's.
Kevin Costner steps into familiar territory as "Bud," America's favourite Everyman. It's a role that I like him in, so I really enjoyed this lightweight comedy-with-a-conscience. With a solid supporting cast and homage paid to such classics as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Miracle on 34th Street, it's dang near impossible to criticize. This is not a BIG film but the message resonates with an informed voting population as we watch events unfold in the US. You don't have to love Costner to enjoy this film, but it helps.
I didn't think I was going to like this movie at all, but I really did. It's about an ignorant American schlubb (the exaggerated everyman) whose daughter is far quicker than he is. The trappings and pettiness of campaigning are also exaggerated here, with the Republican's scare tactics and cross-attack ads being the funniest. The thing I find most refreshing about this movie is that by the end, the filmmakers never pick a side. It ends at the beginning of the Bud-moderated presidential debates, which disappointed me a little bit, but I understand why they did that.