Why it’s famous
Although The Campaign premiered just as the 57th American presidential election was getting underway, this satirical comedy is probably more relevant than ever in the year 2017.
Now that politics in the United States is well past the point of self-parody, it’ll probably be therapeutic for a lot of cinephiles to go back to a simpler time: when the most ridiculous thing imaginable in U.S. politics was Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis running for a congressional seat in Washington D.C.
Why you haven’t seen it
Despite having a successful opening weekend, The Campaign received some mixed reviews by film critics.
Alternatively, you may have seen Ferrell’s name in the cast and made some assumptions that this movie would be as ridiculous and predictable as some of the other poorly-reviewed movies in his filmography.
Why it might be tough to get through
Like other movies that make light of serious issues, The Campaign can be tough to laugh at, especially now that a lot of its jokes about things like political smear tactics and media manipulation have been eclipsed by real-life events. Thanks to this historical hindsight, many viewers may also find themselves cringing as Ferrell and Galifianakis attempt to imitate American political candidates who go a little too far to secure votes.
Another large roadblock for some viewers might be the genre of humour. While The Campaign does employ some clever political satire throughout, it also uses crude physical humour as a crutch, which isn’t for everyone.
Why you should see it anyway
Say what you will about them, but Ferrell and Galifianakis have unparalleled comedic chemistry on screen. Both actors commit to their larger-than-life roles by turning an unlikely situation into a legendary, satirical political rivalry that should shock and delight audiences.
And while it might be painful, now is the perfect time to watch The Campaign. After all, people say laughter is the best medicine, and what better way to start coping with our dysfunctional political future than with a good chuckle.
It also doesn’t hurt that this unique kind of cinematic therapy is brought to us by such an all-star comedy cast that includes: Ferrell, Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, and Dylan McDermott.
Marty Huggins: I hate to break it to you friend, but your balloon is getting ready to pop and that balloon is full of your own butt-toots.
Cam Brady: Are you trying to trash talk me?
Cam Brady (about Marty and his wife): Together they have two boys and two pugs, which, keep in mind, are Chinese. They’re Chinese dogs.
Marty Huggins: Washington D.C. I have a message for you. I’m bringing my broom, because you know why? It’s a mess.
Zach Galifianakis’ uncle served as a U.S. congressman for North Carolina from 1967 to 1972. In The Campaign the two congressional candidates run to represent a riding in the same state.
The movie poster for The Campaign features Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) and Cam Brady (Ferrell) facing off in front of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. However, the two characters never actually go to D.C. in the movie. The entire campaign takes place in North Carolina.
In the theatrical trailer for The Campaign, Galifianakis shoots Ferrell in the leg with a crossbow. But in the final cut of the film, Galifianakis’ weapon of choice is actually a regular hunting rifle. No official explanation for the switch has ever been given.