Irresistible with Steve Carell is hilarious – film review

By Alexandra Heilbron on September 1, 2020 | Leave a Comment

When the first trailer for Irresistible starring Steve Carell and Rose Byrne was released, I was immediately intrigued. It looked like a fast-paced but light-hearted comedy with very funny banter between the two leads.

When I had the opportunity to see it, I discovered it was hilarious, but there was much more to the film than I’d expected.

The basic premise is this: when the Democrats lose the presidential election, they want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. They decide to win over the heartland of America — and where better to start than Deerlaken, Wisconsin?

Steve Carell plays Democratic strategist Gary Zimmer, who sees a video of Wisconsin farmer and former Army Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) make an impassioned speech at a town meeting in Deerlaken.

Gary wants to have Jack run as a Democrat for the position of mayor of Deerlaken, and in doing so, win over the entire area to the side of the Democrats in preparation for the next presidential election.

However, his longtime Republican nemesis, Faith Brewster (Byrne) is hot on his heels, one-upping every move he makes, using dirty tactics to make Jack look dishonest, and embarrassing Gary personally every chance she gets.

Rose Byrne is hilarious in this — her use of dry, understated humor is second to none and her interactions with Steve Carell are priceless. Carell plays Zimmer as a big city hotshot who has trouble hiding his disdain for the country and the people who live there. His under-the-breath mutterings, which he actually means for people to hear — and they do — are every bit as funny as you can imagine.

What I didn’t realize from the trailers was that Chris Cooper would quietly steal every scene he’s in. As usual, his charisma emanates off the screen. He gave his character a gruff, but friendly personality. An introvert who cares for his fellow townsfolk, Colonel Jack Hastings is an easygoing man with a great sense of humor. Cooper gives the audience a fully rounded, three-dimensional character who’s intensely likeable.

Here’s something else I didn’t expect. The best twist ending I’ve seen in a long time. It took me completely by surprise. When a movie is about an election, or a sports game, you root for the protagonist to win — in this case, Jack Hastings. But what you get at the end of this movie, is much, much more.

This is a very cleverly written script by Jon Stewart (yes, The Daily Show host), who also directs. Although he’s written for a number of comedy TV shows, this is just his second screenplay and his second stint as a director, but hopefully we’ll see much more from him on the big screen. It’s a shame that due to the pandemic, Irresistible wasn’t shown in theaters, because it would have been a treat to watch this with an audience and hear them roar with laughter throughout the film.

5/5 stars

Special Features:
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Gag Reel
Campaign Comedy: The Cast of IRRESISTIBLE – Elevating the comedy at every turn, the cast of IRRESISTIBLE kept everyone laughing on set. See what it took to bring this ensemble together in this featurette.
Taking the Lead: Jon Stewart – Go behind the camera with writer and director Jon Stewart as he reveals what drew him in to the film making process.
An IRRESISTIBLE Story – Discover the full story of IRRESISTIBLE as you go behind-the-scenes in this making of piece.

Irresistible is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD and Digital.

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