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Parents' Guide to

Game Change

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Palin docudrama is curious peek at political system.

Movie NR 2013 118 minutes
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Game Change offers viewers a no-holds-barred glimpse at closed-door politics. Even taking into account the assumption that many of the story's finer details are embellished (or perhaps even fabricated) for dramatic effect, there's a lot of value to seeing the basics of how things unfold behind the scenes. From the process behind selecting a presidential running mate to the strategic training to perform well in a debate, Game Change makes you think long and hard about how politicians are groomed for marketability -- sometimes at the expense of actual ability -- especially in an era that's ruled by the unforgiving nature of instant news via the Internet.

It's easy to forget that while it's based on the emotionally charged real-life events of the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change is a fictionalized interpretation crafted from the accounts of some of the major players in the Republican camp. It focuses most intently on Palin, casting her in alternating sympathetic and critical lights and re-raising questions about the strategy behind her selection as McCain's right-hand woman. It's been said by some that Game Change is another attempt to discredit her, but in many ways it accomplishes the opposite, giving viewers a closer look at the momentous challenges she faced as an unprepared national candidate thrust onto the biggest stage in politics. In doing so, the movie also sends another important reminder to viewers: Politicians, for all the pomp and circumstance surrounding them, are just people, and despite their efforts to make voters forget it, they make mistakes just like everyone else.

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