Irresistible Parent Guide
The most frustrating part of watching this production is knowing that there's a better film buried in there somewhere.
Parent Movie Review
“An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle but without the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.” So wrote George Bernard Shaw, and director Jon Stewart was sufficiently impressed with the quote to include it in his film, Irresistible. Obviously outraged by runaway election spending in the USA, Stewart is using his movie to satirize the entire system, presumably in hopes of sparking a discussion on the topic.
Stewart would be more effective in reaching his goal if the movie were actually funny. He’s certainly assembled the right cast – headlined by Steve Carrell as Gary Zimmer, a political operative with strong ties to the Democratic party. Seeing a YouTube clip of a farmer and retired marine, Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), making an impassioned plea at a town meeting on behalf of undocumented residents, Zimmer decides that this man is the future of the Democratic party in the Midwest. Flying to Wisconsin, Gary Zimmer recruits Colonel Hastings to run as Mayor of Deerlaken. But Gary isn’t alone in his interest in the race. Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), a ruthless GOP operative arrives in short order, and the two political strategists launch a political arms race and spending spree. As the two rivals use the mayoral election to score points over each other, they fail to consider that the people of Deerlaken might have their own political priorities that have nothing to do with the Republican or Democratic parties….
Irresistible does not live up to its name – it’s certainly not irresistible and it’s often just plain irritating. One of the film’s biggest weaknesses is the cardboard caricatures that stand in for main characters. Gary’s a coastal liberal who eats pretentious food and patronizes visible minorities and Faith is a cartoonishly nasty, highly sexualized conservative woman who is interchangeable with any Disney villainess. It would be a lot easier to care about the movie if we cared about these two people. As it is, all they do is confirm the prejudices of viewers who dislike the stereotypical supporters of the “other” political party.
The movie also contains content that pushes it into the Restricted category. It features some unpleasant sexual banter between Gary and Faith as well as lots of profanity – over 80 uses of coarse and sexual language, including 30 sexual expletives. This is not a movie you want to watch if swearing makes you flinch.
The most frustrating part of watching Irresistible is knowing that there’s a better movie buried in there somewhere. The plot twist at the end is clever, and almost makes up for the multitudinous failings of the rest of the film. The production also addresses issues that need to be tackled – runaway election spending and negative campaigning. Sadly, despite these pluses, this movie is easy to resist and doesn’t get my vote.Directed by Jon Stewart. Starring Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, and Chris Cooper.. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release June 26, 2020. Updated July 3, 2020
Watch the trailer for Irresistible
Rating & Content Info
Why is Irresistible rated R? Irresistible is rated R by the MPAA for language including sexual references.
Violence: None noted.
Sexual Content: A farmer is shown doing an internal exam on a cow. A woman licks a man’s face. A man and woman make a wager about a sexual act we can’t describe on a family website.
Profanity: There are over 80 uses of profanity and crude language, including 30 sexual expletives (and one use of a sexual hand gesture), 22 terms of deity, and 16 scatological curses. There are also a handful of minor swear words and 10 slang and curse terms for sexual anatomy.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Empty alcohol bottles on bedroom floor. Main character smokes. Main characters drink beer in a bar.
Page last updated July 3, 2020
Irresistible Parents' Guide
Do you align with any particular political party? What policies draw you to that party? What policies do you dislike? Are there any policies you like from other political parties? Do you know anyone who supports another political party? Have you ever had a discussion with them that helps you understand why they support it? What did you learn from them?
Election spending in the USA is higher than any other democracy and has fewer regulations. Do you think high levels of election spending imperil democracy or do you think imposing campaign spending limits limits freedom? Do you think there should be limits on campaign spending? If so, what kind?
Open Secrets.org: Cost of Election
The Washington Post: Somebody just put a price tag on the 2016 election
Brennan Center for Justice: Influence of Big Money
Michelle Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high.” What do you think politics would look like if everyone followed that maxim?
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