|WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT (2004)|
Marcia Gay Harden
|Time: 110 mins.|
SYNOPSIS: A US president who has retired after two terms in office returns to his hometown of Mooseport, Maine and is suckered into running for Mayor against another local candidate.
BOTTOM LINE: This is one of those films that you know probably wonít be very good before you even start watching, but has such a talented cast that you hope to be pleasantly surprised. MOOSEPORT is just one of those great concept films that is thrown together and never really fleshed out past the obvious jokes. Hackman is, as always, wonderful as Monroe Cole, the ex-President. His mayoral competition is Handy Harrison (Romano), the local hardware store owner/handyman, who throws his hat in the ring after his long-suffering girlfriend (Tierney) is asked out by Cole. Hilarity is supposed to ensue as the men use the mayoral race to battle for Sallyís affections. Tierney is a good sport, but never really has much to do except look pretty and act offended by their shenanigans. She lacks any true charisma with either man because her role is mainly to give the two men fodder for their scenes together. It doesnít help that sheís clearly too smart for Handy and way too young for the ex-pres. Whatís most amazing about the film is that Romano holds his own against Hackman and that the two of them manage to generate more than a few laughs from this woefully under-developed script. Handy isnít much of a stretch for Romano, which is good and bad. Romano proves his amiability, but not his talent. If he wants a career outside of television, heís going to have to do a lot better than this. Itís hard to imagine anyone other than Romano fans being amused by this film.