Director: Jon Stewart
Cast: Steve Carell, Chris Cooper, Rose Byrne
Release Date: September 1, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Written and directed by Jon Stewart, Irresistible is a comedy about what happens when a small town becomes the main attraction for two rival political consultants. Top Democratic consultant Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) sees an opportunity to win back voters in America’s heartland when a video of a passionate farmer and retired Marine colonel (Chris Cooper) goes viral. After a long, hard day’s work as a farmhand, Gary persuades the farmer to run for mayor. However, when the Republican National Committee counters him by sending in his brilliant nemesis, Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), Gary is more than primed to up his game, turning this local race into a hilarious game of tug of war.
‘Irresistible’ follows the course of events revolving around a local election in a small town that quickly catches the public eye when two well-known political planners become involved in the campaign, transforming what would usually be a quiet small town election into an important step in the bigger scope of politics. The tale largely focuses on talented political planner Gary Zimmer (Carell) who agrees to take on the campaign of a respected retired Marine colonel (Cooper) in an attempt to breathe some new life into the world of democratic candidates, believing that his hometown beliefs, respectable war record and blue collar ways are precisely what they need to showcase a new type of democrat that could change the game forever. That is assuming they can take down the favorite up for reelection who now has the backing of Gary’s nemesis, the equally capable Faith (Byrne).
Written and directed by Jon Stewart (Rosewater) who is probably best known for his years as host of ‘The Daily Show’, he does a pretty great job at the helm of ‘Irresistible’ bringing his unique style of political comedy with a purpose to the foreground and smoothly guiding along the tale. The film also benefits a great deal from a cast which features many talented individuals and includes Steve Carell (Last Flag Flying), Chris Cooper (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate), Topher Grace (BlacKkKlansman), Natasha Lyonne (Ad Astra), Will Sasso (TV’s United We Fall), Brent Sexton (TV’s Deadwood) and Rose Byrne (Instant Family) along with more, the majority each providing more than capable performances for the most part in each of their respective roles and helping this one to work as smoothly as it does.
‘Irresistible’ is an enjoyable political comedy that’s populated by interesting characters and delivers quite admirably in many respects. Managing to take a political focused story and have fun with some of the more humorous elements that usually accompany the world of politics (a scene showing some news reporters discussing the approach to news coverage and rumors is a great example of Stewart’s flawless ability to humorously poke fun at real issues without ever steering away from the important topics at hand) and even while some may feel it leans a bit too heavily on the democratic perspective of things, it still makes for an earnestly approached and often quite heartfelt and funny film that’s worth giving a chance. Boosted by the capable guidance of Jon Stewart who directs ‘Irresistible’ from his own script and featuring a noteworthy cast led by Steve Carell, it builds into something quite solid overall, although sometimes the jokes and concepts tackled do fall flatter than they likely should and the pacing isn’t always as smooth as it might be. Fortunately it has a lot of undeniable strengths to combat its weaknesses and some truly touching and even a few surprisingly shocking moments that work tremendously in its favor. It may not be perfect, but it’s certainly a fun and passionately crafted movie that’s also perfectly timed in its release.
Overall, ‘Irresistible’ is a funny, focused and altogether enjoyable political comedy with a great performance by Carell that may have a few issues and occasionally comes off less humorous than seems to be intended, but still serves up more than enough clever concepts, laugh out loud humor and intriguing characters to easily grab ahold of your attention and keep you entertained throughout its duration. While also keeping things simple and understandable enough so that those who may not pay as much attention to every detail of politics are still able to thoroughly enjoy the ride. ‘Irresistible’ is recommended for fans of Jon Stewart and/or the talented cast members along with anyone who tends to enjoy a solid political comedy that couldn’t be more timely. For anyone already interested in the film, it should at least be worth a watch and probably the cost of a rental as well.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Irresistible’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 1.66:1 Side Matted Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and offers a smooth, clean and richly detailed presentation from start to finish without any notable troubles or issues to be found throughout. It holds up beautifully even during the few darkly lit and heavily populated moments, never causing anything that might be occurring onscreen to become negatively affected. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation from Universal that should easily satisfy fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack does a nice job of adding some immersion into the viewing experience and offers a crisp, clean and occasionally fairly active audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels fairly frequently in order to send music, along with cheering, crowd chatter and more throughout the various speakers whenever fitting and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that more than delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Irresistible’ features a few solid extras that fans of the film should enjoy. Included on the release are numerous ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 20 minutes in length altogether), along with a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 6 minutes) and a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘An Irresistible Story’ (running approximately 4 minutes), ‘Campaign Comedy: The Cast of Irresistible’ (approximately 4 minutes) and ‘Taking the Lead: Jon Stewart’ (3 minutes).