A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the considerable swearing, drinking, and political diatribes make this a more mature movie. Plus John has sexual fantasies about a news anchor and masturbates, and it's implied that John sleeps with Gloria. There's also some smoking, including pot. The subject matter is likely to be objectionable to families who aren't pretty left-leaning politically.
What's the story?
After the drama of the Bush presidency, it's almost hard to believe that it took so long for a film like BLUE STATE to be made. In it, Breckin Meyer plays John Logue, a lefty everyman who poured so much of his heart into John Kerry's unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign, and who is so despondent over the state of the Iraq war that he decides to move to Canada. It's a political statement, he says. For his political statement, he brings along Chloe (co-producer Anna Paquin), a woman fleeing from San Francisco and from her shifting story of her past. As they arrive in Canada, they have to face the truth, however: Do they each really want to leave behind the U.S.? Is the heartbreak enough to drive them away or is there a better way to channel their political rage?
Is it any good?
If you don't already agree with John's political diatribes, you're unlikely to be convinced by Blue State. Filmmaker Marshall Lewy, in his first film, does a good job of showing what a sanctimonious jerk John can be -- how pious and how self-righteous he is about everything from where he buys his gas to what Chloe eats. As a road trip companion, John isn't so different from the persnickety Sally in When Harry Met Sally. The good thing is it's played for laughs. The fact that he's even sexually aroused by news reports is hilarious.
But the movie also shows a good balance. This isn't just preaching to the choir -- though anyone outside the choir may consider it simple yelling. John's father, played with sad rage by Richard Blackburn, is particularly effecting as he parrots phrases from conservative talk radio: "We're going to commercial break," he barks, as he tries to shut up his son's leftist arguments. "Cut off his mic." In the end, this movie isn't just about Democrat blue states or Republican red states. It's about the blues that befall everyone when the mourning for fallen soldiers mixes with political polarization. For that, during an election season especially, it's worth seeing.
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