Primary Colors (1998)

Whoever thought Danny Zuko could be the President.

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA. A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA (John Travolta).

I always thought Bill Clinton was a pretty cool president. He always seemed pretty chill, as well as one dirty S.O.B. But hey, that doesn’t mean he was a terrible guy, or does it?

I was actually surprised by how good this screenplay was. There is actually a very big deal of comedy that works surprisingly, mainly because the whole story is based on Bill Clinton, and who doesn’t like a couple of good Clinton jabs. But the script also provides a lot of insight into the world of politics and what certain candidates will do to be out on top. We also wonder if these smiling, cool guys we see on TV, are actually the same way behind closed doors. A lot of these points are actually brought up pretty well.

The problem with this film was that there was a middle part to this film that is actually kind of stale, and it almost feels as if nothing is really even happening. I think the problem was that this film does such a hard job at making politics look bad, that when it’s almost looking good, they have no idea what to do. So they don’t really have much going on in that middle part, and it’s a shame cause it did hold my interest throughout the first half.

Nobody could have ever thought that John Travolta could have pulled off a role as Bill Clinton but he does so well here. He makes him seem likable, with just enough charm and wit, that brings a lot of the comedy to this film surprisingly. Emma Thompson is also good in this as Hillary Clinton, and she gets rid of her English accent, and does it pretty well. The chemistry her and Travolta have on screen actually feels genuine, as if they actually have been married for as long as the film says they have. Adrian Lester is practically an unknown now, and that’s a shame because he does a good job here as Henry Burton. The best in this cast however is Kathy Bates who knocks this film out of the park. She brings a huge amount of comedy to her role, and by the end of the film, you see where she brings out the heart within her character, and it just shows you why she really is an amazing actress.

Consensus: It may get stale in the middle, but Primary Colors does a good job at keeping us entertained with a well acted, and funny look at the world of politics.


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