Welcome to Mooseport
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|Welcome to Mooseport|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Donald Petrie|
|Produced by||Moritz Borman|
|Written by||Doug Richardson
Marcia Gay Harden
|Music by||John Debney|
|Editing by||Debra Neil-Fisher|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release dates||February 20, 2004|
|Running time||110 minutes|
|Box office||$14 million|
Welcome to Mooseport is a 2004 American comedy film directed by Donald Petrie and starring Ray Romano and Gene Hackman. It was filmed in Port Perry, Ontario and was Hackman's final film appearance, prior to his 2008 retirement from film.
Monroe "Eagle" Cole (Gene Hackman) is a former President of the United States who retires to his vacation home in the town of Mooseport, Maine to escape the clutches of ex-wife Charlotte Cole (Christine Baranski). Harold 'Handy' Harrison (Ray Romano) is the local plumber of Mooseport, who also owns a hardware store.
Following the death of the town mayor, the town council decides to approach former president Cole about running for the office. Cole agrees because, as it turns out, if he holds the office, his Mooseport house can serve as his office and, therefore, can no longer be divided up or sold off in his divorce settlement. Unbeknownst to Harrison, his name has also been entered into the race. When Harrison finds out Cole is running, he decides to step down, until he notices an unwitting Cole make a pass at Harrison's girlfriend of six years, veterinarian Dr. Sally Mannis (Maura Tierney), who recently broke up with him because he was taking the relationship too slow and had not yet proposed marriage to her. Handy believes that, by becoming mayor, he can show Sally he is a responsible decision maker and win her back.
Tensions rise following the arrival of ex-wife and Cole campaign spoiler Charlotte. Cole's team, led by long-time executive secretary and eventual love interest Grace Sutherland (Marcia Gay Harden) and presidential aide Will Bullard (Fred Savage), bring in the big guns in the form of campaign strategist Bert Langdon (Rip Torn), who becomes Cole's campaign manager as he complains of a boring life since Cole retired from the presidency. As the campaigns progress, Cole and Harrison each become obsessed with winning the race at all (comedic) costs, although Harrison refuses to resort to any dirty tricks, making Cole realize that in all his years of running for elections this may be his toughest as he is taking on an honest man.
Eventually, on the night before the election, both candidates (for different reasons - Cole is trying to get sympathy votes, Harrison just wants to end all of this and is confident Cole would be a good mayor) urge the voters to vote for the other candidate by saying that neither of them will vote for themselves. Harrison fulfills his promise, but Cole votes for himself anyway. Upon the revelation that Cole won by one vote, his conscience gets the better of him and he concedes the match to Harrison. However, Harrison lies that he voted for himself as well, and declines office, so Cole ends up as mayor once again. Harrison then reveals to Sally that he conceded the election because Cole needs the mayorship more than he does and that all he really wanted was to propose marriage to her, which he does. As Handy is proposing to Sally, Monroe also proposes to Grace. The film ends with Bert Langdon telling Handy that he ran an excellent campaign and offers to be his campaign manager for Governor of Maine, which Handy jokingly shows some interest in when he realizes a governor has certain authority over mayors.
The film received a rating of 13% from Rotten Tomatoes.
The film had a worldwide gross of just over $14 million on a budget of $30 million.
- Ray Romano as Harold 'Handy' Harrison
- Gene Hackman as Monroe 'Eagle' Cole
- Maura Tierney as Dr. Sally Mannis
- Marcia Gay Harden as Grace Sutherland
- Fred Savage as Will Bullard
- Rip Torn as Bert Langdon
- Christine Baranski as Charlotte Cole
- Wayne Robson as Morris Gutman
- Reagan Pasternak as Mandy Gutman
- Edward Herrmann as Avery Hightower
- June Squibb as Irma
- Juan "Chi-Chi" Rodriguez as Himself
- Raymond Romano interview for Welcome To Mooseport at the Wayback Machine (archived September 29, 2007) archived from the original at Moviehole.net