Jon Stewart's political satire 'Irresistible' is surprisingly unfunny
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Jon Stewart's political satire 'Irresistible' is surprisingly unfunny

Starring Steve Carell, Chris Cooper and Rose Byrne, "Irresistible" can't be saved from flat jokes and confusing message deliveries.

Jon Stewart's political satire 'Irresistible' is surprisingly unfunny
Daniel McFadden/Focus Features

It's about five years since the public has prominently seen comedian Jon Stewart in the spotlight as "The Daily Show" host. But now he's (sort of) back as the director and writer of this political satire that doesn't serve his comedic talents, his abilities to satire the present political field and his actors any justice in "Irresistible."

The movie kicks off a montage of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump quotes followed by interviews with Democratic political consultant Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) and Republican rival Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) delivering coded messages to the press. It sets the stage for a movie that will be laden with subtext as both characters lie through their teeth to sway the media in their favor.

Just when the Democratic party could use an approval boost, a farmer and retired veteran named Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) goes viral in a video because he's defending the town's undocumented residents. So Gary sees the rugged man as his winning ticket to gain approval from a small, conservative town in Wisconsin. When he visits the town, he convinces Jack to run for mayor. And both men accompany one another on a campaign trail that's hardly interesting.

Stewart has a chance to bring an extremely smart political satire about – arguably – the circus that is American politics. But the messaging is lost in translation because the only messaging viewers may get is that everyone in politics sucks and no one is looking out for each other. That's definitely not a message America needs in these hard times with an election year ahead and a pandemic affecting the world.

Irresistible Final Trailer (2020) | Movieclips

Here's a chance to have a really smart commentary movie on politics, but it simply feels forced. At least the movie doesn't make people "pick a side" because everyone involved isn't likeable at all. Byrne is grossly underused and simply serves as a fly in the soupy plot, delivering damning news when needed. And Carell's character is very awkward and unsociable for someone who works in politics. He's as uncomfortable as that drawn-out, unnecessary scene in which Gary is loudly munching away on his food. It's no offense to the talented actors who were doing the best they could with what was given to them.

But with so many comedy landmark actors in one movie, it should've been funnier. The funniest bit was probably when a political adviser accidentally sent pro-choice pamphlets to a convent. Other than that, good comedy is hard to come by.

Coming out of the movie, the viewer might feel cheated with about two hours of their life gone. They are better off saving their money on something with more substance and less ham-fisted comedy.

Score: 2 out of 10.

"Irresistible" is available on various VOD platforms starting Friday, June 26.

Contact Samantha Incorvaia on Twitter at @_SamI520.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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