Irresistible (2020 film)

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Irresistible
Irresistible 2020 poster.jpg
Official digital release poster
Directed byJon Stewart
Produced by
Written byJon Stewart
Starring
Music byBryce Dessner
CinematographyBobby Bukowski
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byFocus Features
Release date
  • June 26, 2020 (2020-06-26) (United States)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$100,000[2]

Irresistible is a 2020 American political comedy film written and directed by Jon Stewart. It stars Steve Carell, Chris Cooper, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, Natasha Lyonne, and Rose Byrne. The film follows a Democratic strategist who tries to help a local candidate win an election in a small right-wing town.

Initially set for a theatrical release in May 2020, the film was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and then released on video on demand and limited theaters on June 26, 2020, by Focus Features. It received mixed reviews from critics, who called it "a soft political satire".

Plot[edit]

Successful Democratic campaigner Gary Zimmer is in despair due to the results of the 2016 election. Gary is shown a viral video of Marine Colonel Jack Hastings giving a speech standing up for the undocumented immigrant population living in his hometown of Deerlaken, Wisconsin. Deciding that if he can run Hastings as the Democratic mayoral candidate in the next election, he can convince the American people in the heartland to vote democrat in the next presidential election. Arriving in Deerlaken, Gary immediately finds his city slicker Washington DC attitude contrasting to the townspeople more rural mannerisms.

Gary soon meets Hastings and his daughter Diana and pitches his idea. Hastings initially declines considering himself more of a conservative and having no real interest in politics, but later relents and agrees to run under the condition that Gary runs his campaign. Hastings recruits his friends and neighbors as volunteers for the campaign. However, setbacks soon arise including the fact that most of the town is conservative and the fact that the incumbent Mayor Braun is being funded by the Republican National Committee. The RNC also sends down Faith Brewster, Gary’s nemesis, to counter Gary.

The election soon heats up and Gary takes Hastings to New York so they can recruit fundraisers for the campaign to match Faith’s money and reinforcements. Hastings gives a powerful speech to the possible donors about how he needs their help for his small town which inspires Gary. Their donations allow Gary to upgrade their campaigning methods. Soon the election polls show Hastings and Braun neck in neck although the Hastings’ campaign takes a dive when one of Gary’s team members promises the schools free contraceptives paid for by the government which irritates a group of nuns. When Gary starts berating his teammates, Diana convinces him to apologize and that if he is going to run her father’s campaign, he needs to be nice.

When it starts to look like Faith and Braun are going to win, Gary tries to convince Hastings and Diana to play dirty and start exploiting Braun’s skeletons. Diana is horrified that Gary would play dirty and goes to Braun for advice. Braun and Diana decide to secretly reveal a bigger scandal about Braun so Gary won’t go after Braun’s brother which was his original plan. The scandal, however, proves to be false.

On Election Day, no one votes which confuses both Gary and Faith. It is revealed that the election was actually a setup. Diana shot the video of her father’s immigration speech so that Gary and Faith would pour thousands of dollars into the election which would help the town through its financial trouble due to the recent closure of the military base. Gary is shocked that Diana would play him and Diana then counters him by explaining the town set this up because DC politicians play small towns like theirs all the time. When Gary reveals that he was hoping that there was a spark between them, Diana rejects him. Later, Gary and Faith enter into a sexual relationship and Diana becomes the mayor of Deerlaken after a special election.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

It was announced in October 2018 that Jon Stewart was planning his next directorial effort, with Steve Carell in talks to star, contingent on scheduling.[3] In March 2019, Rose Byrne entered negotiations to join the film.[4] That same month, Chris Cooper joined the cast of the film, with Focus Features acquiring distribution rights.[5] In April 2019, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, and Debra Messing joined the cast of the film.[6][7][8] Will Sasso, CJ Wilson, Natasha Lyonne, and Alan Aisenberg joined in May.[9][10][11] In June 2019, Brent Sexton joined the cast of the film.[12]

Production began in April 2019 In Atlanta, Georgia.[13]

Release[edit]

The film was released in digitally in the United States through Premium VOD, as well as in selected theaters, on June 26, 2020.[14] It was originally scheduled for a wide theatrical release on May 29, 2020, but due to movie theater closures that started in mid-March due of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it was cancelled.[15][16][17][18]

Reception[edit]

VOD sales[edit]

In its debut weekend, Irresistible was the top-rented film on the iTunes Store and fourth on FandangoNow (although since the service reports totals by the week it was likely first over the three-day frame).[19][20] It also made an estimated $100,000 from 238 theaters.[2] In its second weekend of release it finished fourth at both iTunes and FandangoNow.[21]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 42% based on 187 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "A soft political satire that proves frustratingly less than the sum of its talented parts, Irresistible is anything but."[22] At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[23]

Owen Gleiberman of Variety said that "Irresistible scores points yet feels behind the curve. You wish it were a bold satirical bulletin, or maybe just Stewart's pricelessly amusing version of a Christopher Guest movie. Instead, the film is a lot like a politician: It makes a big show of leading the viewer, but without rocking the boat."[24] David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "C" and, although praising Byrne's performance, wrote: "A Capra-esque moral comedy that unfolds with all the subtlety of sky writing and none of the same panache, Irresistible is a perverse bid for clarity that feels like it was left behind like a relic from some long-distant past."[25]

San Francisco Chronicle‘s G. Allen Johnson said Stewart created "perhaps the most lamebrain, ham-fisted and insulting movie of the year."[26] Johnson adds that he finds the movie unfunny on top of taking wide swings, which miss, at both rural Midwesterners and East Coast elites.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IRRESISTIBLE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. June 6, 2020. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro (June 30, 2020). "'Zootopia' Leads At Weekend Box Office Still Hampered By COVID-19". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  3. ^ Jon Stewart, Steve Carell Team for Political Satire 'Irresistible'
  4. ^ Exclusive: Rose Byrne in Talks to Join Steve Carell in Jon Stewart’s ‘Irresistible’
  5. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (March 19, 2019). "Chris Cooper Joins Steve Carell & Rose Byrne In Jon Stewart's Campaign Trail Comedy 'Irresistible' For Focus & Plan B". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 10, 2019). "Mackenzie Davis Joins Jon Stewart-Directed Comedy 'Irresistible'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Topher Grace Joins Jon Stewart’s Political Pic ‘Irresistible’
  8. ^ Messing, Debra (April 22, 2019). "I am so lucky. I get to act with this funny guy and be directed by this OTHER funny guy. #agoodday #movielife #stevecarell #johnstewert". Instagram.com. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Will Sasso & CJ Wilson Join Jon Stewart Comedy ‘Irresistible’ With Steve Carell & Rose Byrne
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (2019-05-09). "Natasha Lyonne Joins Jon Stewart's Political Drama 'Irresistible' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  11. ^ Hermanns, Grant (May 9, 2019). "Jon Stewart's Irresistible Adds Natasha Lyonne". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  12. ^ N’Duka, Amanda (June 3, 2019). "Brent Sexton Joins Jon Stewart's' Irresistible' Film; Patricia De Leon Cast In 'Centurion the Dancing Stallion'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  13. ^ Tyler, Jacob (March 14, 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: STEVE CARELL & JON STEWART'S 'IRRESISTIBLE' CURRENTLY EYEING APRIL 22ND PRODUCTION START IN ATLANTA". Omega Underground. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  14. ^ D’Alessandro, Anthony (May 22, 2020). "Jon Stewart Political Comedy 'Irresistible' Heading To PVOD This Summer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "Irresistible Showtimes". Santikos Theatres. June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  16. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 22, 2020). "Jon Stewart's Next Movie 'Irresistible' Gets Focus Features Release Date". deadline.com. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Jon Stewart's Political Comedy 'Irresistible' to Debut on Demand". Variety. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Domestic Release Schedule Changes". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  19. ^ Roweles, Dustin (June 28, 2020). "Weekend Box Office: Jon Stewart, Will Ferrell, And The Most-Watched Movies At Home Over The Weekend". Uproxx. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  20. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (June 29, 2020). "'King of Staten Island' Continues Universal's VOD Dominance as 'Eurovision' Scores at Netflix". IndieWire. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  21. ^ Roweles, Dustin (July 5, 2020). "Weekend Box Office: 'Hamilton' And The Most-Watched Movies At Home Over The Weekend". Uproxx. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  22. ^ "Irresistible (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  23. ^ "Irresistible Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  24. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (June 22, 2020). "Jon Stewart's 'Irresistible': Film Review". Variety. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  25. ^ Ehrlich, David (June 22, 2020). "'Irresistible' Review: Jon Stewart Returns with a Toothless Political Satire Out of Touch with Trump Era". IndieWire. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Johnson, G. Allen. Review: ‘Irresistible,’ Jon Stewart’s political comedy, is one of the most insulting movies of the year, San Francisco Chronicle, June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.

External links[edit]