McCoy on Movies: Irresistible

McCoy on Movies: Irresistible

by -

Jon Stewart skewers modern politics in this satirical flick but is it worth the watch? Keep reading for our movie critic’s review.


“Hmmm … Do you think that the NFL is going to have a season this fall or no?” Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) and Diana Hastings (Mackenzie Davis) ponder their next move in a scene from writer/director Jon Stewart’s political satire IRRESISTIBLE. Credit: Daniel McFadden / Focus Features.



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Steve Carell, Chris Cooper, Rose Byrne, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, Natasha Lyonne, CJ Wilson, Brent Sexton and Will Sasso DIRECTOR(S): Jon Stewart


THE BACK STORY: A story of politics and tricks, Irresistible stars Steve Carell as Gary Zimmer. A strategist for the Democratic party, Gary is seeking a candidate that can galvanize the party — and more importantly, the general public – as a potential future presidential candidate.

And that’s when he comes across a viral video shot in Deerlaken, Wisconsin featuring Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper).A retired Marine colonel, Jack’s speech at a local city council catches Gary’s attention as it has everything he could want in a candidate: Passion, emotional appeal and all American values with compassion for his fellow man. Intrigued, Gary heads to Deerlaken to convince Jack to run for office while getting to know his daughter Diana (Mackenzie Davis). Problem is, once Gary sees the opportunity to turn Jack into a star, his Republican strategist rival Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) arrives on the scene to help the town’s incumbent mayor (Brent Sexton) win at any cost. 

So, what happens when small town America becomes the center of the political universe? A story that, as the events are set to prove, makes politics as unusual irresistible. 

THE REVIEW: Written and directed by Jon Stewart (yes, the former host of The Daily Show), Irresistible is a classic slow build comedy where sitting through the lead up to the payoff can at times feel a little like a chore – until the payoff hits.Carell is much like a smarter, savvier version of his former Michael Scott persona from The Office days with Byrne serving as a very Kellyanne Conway-esque foil to his character. Likewise, Cooper – ever great at playing the older everyman – turns in another solid performance to add to his extensive resume while showing a softer side than he typically gets to exhibit. And Davis is competent enough to do everything her character needs to do in a believable fashion to keep things moving along.

The thing, as alluded to above, that makes Irresistible a solid watch is the film’s last 15 minutes in which the point of the film hits home. Given Stewart’s knowledge (and well-known) critique of the American political system as it stands today, Irresistible sharply skewers everything from cable news, viral videos, the selling of a candidate’s image versus what they actually believe and of course, the two party system as a whole. While not re-inventing the wheel in any sense, Irresistible‘s biggest joke comes in showing how much the current setup is primed to show the joke is on all of us.

In doing so, the film packs enough laughs to show why, without major change, our current political system is quite possibly no laughing matter.