Welcome to Mooseport

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Welcome to Mooseport
Welcome To Mooseport.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Donald Petrie
Produced by Moritz Borman
Screenplay by Tom Schulman
Story by Doug Richardson
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Victor Hammer
Edited by Debra Neil-Fisher
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • February 20, 2004 (2004-02-20) (United States)
  • July 22, 2004 (2004-07-22) (Germany)
Running time
110 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • Germany
Language English
Budget $30 million[2]
Box office $14.6 million[2]

Welcome to Mooseport is a 2004 American-German romantic comedy film directed by Donald Petrie and starring Ray Romano, in his first full-length live-action film, and Gene Hackman. It was filmed in Jackson's Point, Ontario and Port Perry, Ontario. It is Hackman's final film appearance to date.


Former President of the United States Monroe "Eagle" Cole retires to his vacation home in the town of Mooseport, Maine to escape the clutches of ex-wife Charlotte. Harold "Handy" Harrison 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 Handy's girlfriend of six years, veterinarian Dr. Sally Mannis, 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 and presidential aide Will Bullard, bring in the big guns in the form of campaign strategist Bert Langdon, 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 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.



Box office[edit]

Welcome to Mooseport opened theatrically on February 20, 2004 in 2,868 venues, earning $6,775,132 and ranking fourth in the domestic box office.[3] The film ended its run twelve weeks later on May 13, 2004, having grossed $14,470,947 domestically and $144,152 overseas, for a worldwide total of $14,615,099. Based on a $30 million budget, the film was a box office bomb.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 13% score, based on 144 critics, with an average rating of 4.2/10. The site's consensus states: "A bland comedy that squanders a talented cast."[4] On Metacritic, the film holds a 33 out of 100 rating, based on 36 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[5]


  1. ^ "WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. March 4, 2004. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Welcome to Mooseport (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. May 13, 2004. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 20-22, 2004". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. February 23, 2004. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Welcome to Mooseport (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to Mooseport reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 

External links[edit]