'Swing Vote' plays on GOP, Dem stereotypes about a fictional presidential election,
an election that is likely to draw ire from members of the two major political parties.
In one of the movie's opening scenes, the vile GOP campaign manager calls for hiring brawny bodybuilders with Aryan looks to scare away elderly Jewish voters from polling places in Florida. Later, when the Republican candidate has conflicted thoughts about all the hypocrisy, he asks his adviser, "What are we about?" The Rove-ian response: "Winning."
" Sounds like liberal Hollywood !"
Though the film skewers both Republicans and Democrats, the lion's share of zingers are aimed at the GOP characters .
If the Democrats come across as merely hapless, most of the Republicans are depicted as heartless.
The Republician figures are depicted as storm troopers in business suits — willing to pollute beautiful landscapes in exchange for corporate payoffs and happy to cajole, badger and even bribe Costner's character in exchange for his critical vote.
While the Democrats come across as lightweight challengers .
The script plays off of stereotypes that annoy and inflame the party faithful on both sides.
The film depicts Republican strategists as nasty connivers without souls, willing to change their views on gay marriage and the environment just to get elected.
Democratic campaigners are shown to be similarly hypocritical, spinelessly flip-flopping their long-held positions on abortion and immigration to win the election.
“Swing Vote” revolves around a low-life trailer park drunk (Costner) who, by virtue of his young daughter's idealism, becomes responsible for deciding the fate of a closely tied presidential election. Both the incumbent Republican commander-in-chief (Kelsey Grammer) and the milquetoast liberal Democrat challenger (Dennis Hopper) descend on his small town and vie for his vote by shamelessly courting him, even going so far as to change their strongly-held beliefs to align themselves with what they mistakenly believe are his views.
A small crowd at an advance screening on the Disney studio lot in Burbank, California this week laughed loudest when Hopper's character appears in political ads targeted directly at Costner's redneck character. In one of the commercials, Hopper talks to the camera while illegal immigrants race across the border behind him. In another spot, the Democrat appears in a playground while children vanish in wisps of black smoke as he talks about revoking Roe v. Wade. Grammer's Republican character also appears in mock ads, including one calling for the legalization of gay marriage.