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09 Nov 2012
09 Apr 2013
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- Critic rating
- Currently 2/5 Stars.
There's no family dog strapped to the roof of his car, but political candidate Grant Cogswell has his own set of image problems, starting with the fact that he likes to dress up as a polar bear and he's currently an unemployed music critic. In Stephen Gyllenhaal's bittersweet, uplifting comedy GRASSROOTS - based on the true story of the 2001 Seattle City Council election - Cogswell becomes a mono-maniacal man of the people, rallying an unlikely posse of misfits, slackers, and square pegs to his seemingly hopeless David-and-Goliath battle against a firmly entrenched incumbent.
Before the Occupy Movement there was Grant's fervent pitch to the Emerald City's downtrodden hipsters and idealists - to stand up for what they believe in, to take back their city government, to build a beautiful monorail that would carry them into the future, to be part of something bigger than themselves. GRASSROOTS offers an exhilarating, hilarious, bumpy ride on the political train just when we need it most, because at bottom what drives this eccentric optimist is his belief that what he is doing actually matters.
Based on the book "Zioncheck for President," written by Grant Cogswell's reluctant campaign manager Phil Campbell, GRASSROOTS stars Jason Biggs as Phil and Joel David Moore as Grant. Seattle plays itself, and the city has never looked dreamier, more beautiful, or more ripe for revolt. With Lauren Ambrose, Cedric the Entertainer, Cobie Smulders, Tom Arnold, Christopher McDonald, DC Pierson, Emily Bergl.
Joel David Moore
Cedric The Entertainer
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Movies.ie Critic Review
Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. Starring Jason Biggs, Joel David Moore, Lauren Ambrose, Christopher McDonald, Cedric The Entertainer, Tom Arnold.
THE PLOT: Seattle, 2011, and brave music critic Grant Cogswell (Moore) has decided it’s time to run for local office – heck, if Screaming Lord Sutch can do it, why can’t he? And the ticket Grant is running on is, hey, when is this city finally going to have the kind of all-encompassing monorail it was promised? Helping run this, yep, grassroots campaign is another failed journalist, Phil Campbell (Biggs), the duo making surprisingly good headway as the media picks up on the unlikely people’s hero. It doesn’t help that the incumbent (Cedric) is one of the few sitting black politicians around. Still, Cogswell and Campbell decide that their amicable opponent is the Mayor Quimby of their story…
THE VERDICT: Based on the book Zioncheck For President (campaign chief Campbell’s insider account of this bizarre true-life event), pretty much like its protagonist, Grassroots promises much and delivers bugger all. Gyllenhaal (pop to Jake and Maggie, and a long-time filmmaker) had hoped to motivate America’s young into political action by touring Grassroots around college campuses there (his second wife, and co-producer here, Kathleen Man, by his side), but it’s unlikely this film inspired much beyond the occasional chuckle. And a few questions about Jake during the post-screening Q&A. It’s Milk without the calcium. It’s Dude, Where’s My Monorails, only not as stoner silly as that sounds. Go watch Marge Vs. The Monorail instead. RATING: 2/5
Review by P Byrne
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