June 2000:

Every month a new video pick is reviewed.

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This month's review by YMS Staffer: Ben




(click to purchase)


Election (1999)
Directed by Alexander Payne 
cast :

Matthew Broderick .... Jim McAllister
Reese Witherspoon .... Tracy Enid Flick
Loren Nelson .... Custodian
Chris Klein .... Paul Metzler
Phil Reeves .... Walt Hendricks
Emily Martin .... Girl in Crisis
Jonathan Marion .... Classroom Student
Amy Falcone .... Classroom Student
Mark Harelik .... Dave Novotny
Delaney Driscoll .... Linda Novotny
Molly Hagan .... Diane McAllister
Colleen Camp .... Judith R. Flick
Matt Justesen .... 'Eat Me' Boy
Nick Kenny .... 'Eat Me' Boy's Buddy
Written by Alexander Payne from a novel by Tom Perrotta
Rated R
Election (1999) reviewed by Ben

If you missed this wickedly funny satire about high school when it was in theaters, you should run out and rent it because it's one of the best movies ever done about high school in America.

The star is Reese Witherspoon (of Mrs. Ryan Phillippe fame) and she couldn't be better. I think this proves once and for all that Reese has definitely got it going. Reese plays Tracy Flick, the girl who does and has everything so she has to have the student body president position. Tracy's the girl you hated in high school. You know the type: aggressive, manipulative, always has her hand up in class to show off her vast knowledge.


I guess she's also the one the teachers hate too. Little Miss Overacheiver. And Reese plays her to absolute perfection. At the beginning of the school year, Tracy announces to Mr. McAllister (Matthew Broderick) that she wants to work together "harmoniously" this year. In the back of his mind is the little affair Tracy had last year with another teacher, who happens to be his best friend. To ward off any such career busting involvement, Matthew enlists the help of the dim-witted jock, Paul (excellently played by hunky Chris Klein) to run against Tracy in the stuydent body elections.

Tracy runs her campaign which she sees more as a crowning, since her only real platform is that she should be elected because she's appointed herself the only possible winner. What can you say about someone who shows up on election day with personalized cupcakes for each and every voter?

The film is filled with biting satire and is hilariously funny. No one is spared and yet everyone is also presented humanly, from the teacher to the students to the administration, it presents a pretty realistic view of high school with a real biting edge to it.


If you haven't seen this film, definitely rent it for a good laugh. If you're in high school, a lot will seem familiar. If you're out of high school, some of the nightmares may return. And if you've yet to experience high school... well, here's a preview.

Four stars. Perfect!



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