MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Breckin Meyer as JOHN
Anna Paquin as CHLOE
Developed by: Marshall Lewy
BY KEVIN CARR
Four years ago, during the election hubbub of 2004, Democrats and liberals around the country (including some loudmouth celebrities) declared they would move to Canada if George W. Bush was re-elected. Then a funny thing happened… Bush was re-elected.
Once people woke up on Wednesday morning in November and realized the “Dub-ya” was in the White House for four more years, no one followed through with these claims. The film “Blue State” looks at what might have happened to someone if they actually took the Canadian plunge.
Breckin Meyer plays a die-hard Democrat named John. When Bush wins, he hooks up with a site called MarryACanadian.com and takes a road trip up north to find a new life. To help share in the gas money and be a companion, he meets Chloe (Anna Paquin), who has secrets of her own. Along the way, they both discover why they want a new life and whether this is the best way to attain it.
With the exception of a few awkward scenes (in particular one in which John visits his parents and is berated by his father who literally talks like he’s taking calls on an AM talk show), the politics are simply there to characterize John. The film remarkably avoids much the preachiness it is prone to, although it does ultimately succumb to it quite often.
Writer/director Marshall Lewy admits in his director’s commentary that the idea of the film was borne out of his work on the Kerry campaign and how upset he was after Bush was re-elected. He’s ridiculously out of touch with half of the population, unable to see the non-liberal Democrat point of view, and that turns out to be his biggest obstacle in the movie.
But politics aside, it’s a journey of discovery for both John and Chloe. Their characters aren’t exactly terribly interesting, mature or even very smart. However, if you take it from the perspective of a boy and a girl reconciling their place in a world that they don’t particularly like, it can work.
The DVD comes with only the director’s commentary, which is going to be more palatable for the blue-state liberal rather than a general red-state guy like myself.