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Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) is an apathetic, beer-swigging loser, who is coasting through life. His one bright spot is his over-achieving 12 year old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll), who takes care of them both. That is, until a mischievous moment on Election Day, when she accidentally sets off a chain of events which culminates in the election depending on one vote - her dad's.

Review by Louise Keller:
In a year of the US Presidential election, Kevin Costner plays the All-American Loser, who drinks too much, fails in his duties as father and forgets to vote. It's credit to Costner and Madeline Carroll, who plays his 12 year old daughter that the film is as enjoyable as it is, as Bud goes from Big-Time Loser to Man With A Conscience. It's a predictable, feel-good fantasy in the mould of a political satire and the result is a good one.

Carroll's young Molly calls him Bud, wakes him up, makes his lunch (egg salad) and acts like his parent as she organises him, registers him for voting and generally keeps a watchful eye. But Bud is out of control. He is totally irresponsible and cannot even keep his menial job at the egg-packaging factory. As usual, Molly rescues her father from every situation, including the night he gets drunk and forgets to vote. Through a set of extraordinary circumstances when Molly tries to lodge Bud's vote on his behalf, and inadvertently makes it invalid, Bud becomes a celebrity. It is his vote that will decide the next President of the United States.

The satire comes into its own as Bud becomes the chosen best friend of the President (Kelsey Grammer) and his political opponent Donald Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper). 'Would you like a Bud, Bud?' They both (with their respective Chiefs of Staff - Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane) woo the country hick in a bid to get Bud to vote their way. Paula Patton (Denzel Washington's dream girl from Déjà vu) plays Kate, the TV journalist who takes an interest in the proceedings ('Never let it be said that a single vote counts for nothing')

Carroll is a breath of fresh air and pretty much steals the film. She is the astute one, who reads all the mail, gets involved in the issues and makes Bud the man he should always have been. The film's a trifle long, but it plays well and by the time Bud is ready to cast his vote, we feel well satisfied as to where the journey has led us.

Published March 12, 2009

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(US, 2008)

CAST: Kevin Costner, Madeline Carroll, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez, Judge Reinhold, Willie Nelson

PRODUCER: Kevin Costner, Jim Wilson

DIRECTOR: Joshua Michael Stern

SCRIPT: Jason Richman, Joshua Michael Stern


EDITOR: Jeff McEvoy

MUSIC: John Debney


RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; Captions For The Audio Impaired; Descriptive Narration for the Vision Impaired

SPECIAL FEATURES: Inside the Campaign: The Politics of Production, Trailer, single disc

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: February 12, 2009

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