THE STORY: Many talk show hosts harbor lofty ambitions, but few would go to the extremes of Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) in the gentle satire MAN OF THE YEAR. After entering the race for president as a joke, Dobbs is in for quite a surprise when he proves to be more popular than he thought.
THE REVIEW: Robin Williams was a very funny man. And since he has the ability to be a very funny man, Williams is given more leniency than nearly any other actor to just go crazy. There was a script and yet it appears that Williams has no issue straying as long as he finds it funny—forget what anyone else thinks.
The biggest problem isn’t Williams’ straying its the cat and mouse game about electronic voting machines and a female employee who falls in love with the President. We get Jeff Goldblum as the bad guy who wants to silence her and it’s all too much for one movie. Well, it’s all too much for a comedy at least.
Williams as a television comedian winning an election could have been funny enough without all of the subplots. The subplot of the girlfriend makes Man of the Year feel too much like The American President. It wasn’t necessary. The entire idea of a comic being President should have offered a treasure trove of jokes and subplots that entail being president. It’s a shame that someone felt the concept needed more cushioning and deviation.
FRANKLY: Man of the Year is the kind of movie that speaks to every guy out there who wishes they had a few minutes to run this country. And yet it has a cool twist where the President isn’t a politician and actually has a sense of humor and has our best interest in mind. It all sounds like a great idea, considering the state of America today. The concept could have been so much bigger had the subplots not come along and ruined it. Man of the Year has its moments of hilarity and it’s too bad there are as many moments of boredom.
+ Charlie Craine