Let’s make this clear once and for all: the question isn’t “what if a comedian ran for president?” It’s “what if somebody was dumb enough to make a movie where Robin Williams played a comedian who ran for president?”
ESPN’s Bill Simmons
And that pretty accurately sums up Man of the Year, Robin Williams attempt to recapture relevance in a world that has passed him by.
First, we need to be serious. Robin Williams has not been an asset as an actor or even comic relief since 1997 with Good Will Hunting. He has not given a decent leading performance since Dead Poet’s Society in 1989. Including Robin Williams, or worst yet, staring Robin Williams is a sure way for your movie to bomb.
Second, this movie exists already. Does anyone remember 2003’s Head of State starring Chris Rock as
comedian Chris Rock alderman Mays Gilliam? You probably don’t, and I can’t blame you. A little refresher, Chris Rock runs for President. So, he was an alderman, and not a comedian, small detail. Christ Rock does not act, he just performs his routine on film. Nothing wrong with that, but the comedian for president gag has been run once now to little success. Do we really need to try again?
Third, Lewis Black is funny. (Wait for it…) He is probably one of the top stand-ups we have right now, though it is a rather low point for standup comedy. (Wait for it…) His brand of angry political humor is always intelligent and hilarious even to those who don’t exactly agree with him. (Here it is.) However, with the recent movie Accepted, he showed us that he does not belong on the silver screen whatsoever. Just because you can tell a joke, does not mean you can act.
Lastly, while I am also sure that this movie will contain plenty of the over-simplified conservative bashing jokes and lines that Hollywood is known for, Man of the Year will ultimately leave liberals feeling empty as well. C’mon, Robin Williams as President? John Stewart is surely their first comedian choice.
Someone, please, explain to me just what the studio execs were thinking when they green-lighted this?