Set as a documentary about Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins) the star, director and writer set out to paint Roberts as a right wing cynical "I will do anything to get elected," candidate for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. The opponent is Brickley Paiste (Gore Vidal), an ineffectual liberal senator.
At times wickedly funny and a bitter satire on the process of electing in America, the script falls into a serious plot which results in the death of a critic and the ultimate dirty trick to win the election. As it moves, it begins to take itself seriously and loses its credibility as a satire.
Robbins must have a great sense of humor; some of his songs are very funny as he Hollywoodizes the race to Washington, but the film becomes deep and serious and ultimately a statement against candidates from the right. In doing so, the easy, silly flow from the early scenes is blurred by a political statement,
It is filled with cameo appearances by stars who play anchormen and women reporting the campaign and Alan Rickman, the ultimate white collar villain who plays Lucas Hart III, Roberts' campaign manager. They are all effective but the obvious work and dedication to the film are lost when the laughs stop.