Projections - Movie Reviews

Welcome to Mooseport
Welcome to Mooseport
Starring Gene Hackman, Ray Romano, Marcia Gay Harden,
Maura Tierney, Christine Baranski, Fred Savage

Welcome to Mooseport is a movie with unlimited comic possibilities that unfortunately are never realized.

As the story goes the former president of the United States makes his transition to private life and ends up running for mayor of Mooseport, Maine. The president played by the ever popular Gene Hackman had potential in this part for huge laughs and acrid satire.

This Mooseport however, is not that kind of comedy. Mooseport is one of those formula films that crams so much sickening sweetness at us, that a dentist should be provided at the door. I take great exception to capitalizing on a TV character of an actor and simply changing the names for the big screen. The only true humor presented is that the former president was divorced while in office and exited with an approval rating above 80%, you have to have a sense of humor just for that.

The film opens with two-term ex-prez Monroe Cole (Hackman) fresh out of the Oval Office and passing his time golfing and angling for big-money book deals and lucrative speaking engagements. While running from his ex-wife (Christine Baranski), he turns up in Mooseport, at the only house he has remaining after the divorce. He quickly finds himself in a mayoral campaign versus the local hardware store owner/plumber, Handy (Ray Romano). In what could have been a comedic perfect setup, Handy's bored girlfriend, Sally (Maura Tierney), comes between the two men and a battle of wills ensues.

Romano will probably think twice before leaping on the big screen again because for him Mooseport is a very unforgiving place. His sitcom character fits him well, but here he simply is out of his element, talking to himself and always looking down. What can be found here, is a character portrayed by Hackman that is larger than life that could easily carry the plot in a whole different direction and make a significantly better film.

Welcome to Mooseport

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