Robin Williams shines in 'Man of the Year'
Posted Oct. 27, 2006

Robin Williams has done it again.

And even if it’s been a while since a good Williams comedy, “Man of the Year” is wholly appreciated.

Williams stars as Tom Dobbs, a comedian who hosts a talk show, similar to John Stewart and “The Daily Show.”

Rounding out the cast are Christopher Walken, who plays Dobbs’ manager, and Laura Linney, who plays Dobbs’ love interest.

Dobbs is egged on by his audience to run for president and eventually does it; turns out that he wins, too.

A new computer voting system is used in the election, one that Laura Linney’s character helped develop.

She finds a glitch in the system just days before the election and is scared into silence by her boss and his lawyer.

The glitch in the system causes Dobbs to win even though he wasn’t expected to receive many votes.

As Delacroy, the company that created the voting system, tries to cover up the glitch, she meets Dobbs and tells him about the error.

Even though our real voting problems were years ago, it’s all too familiar.

Jokes about hanging chads, brother-governors and corrupt courts are tragically funny.

It’s too bad that this country and its leader have become such great sources of humor.

The movie works as a social commentary-comedy.

Williams is definitely back to being funny and his jokes are fresh.

Most of the material will be new for viewers that haven’t seen or heard his stand-up.

“Man of the Year” suffers a bit of an identity crisis though, as it crosses between comedy and suspense.

The film breaks away from comedy and into suspense as the glitch cover-up unfolds.

Either way, the movie is enjoyable as a whole.

The film is a bit ironic though, to think that two years into the second Bush administration, all people are doing is making jokes about him and his policies.

In the film, Dobbs represents a clear third choice in the two-party stranglehold that is called American democracy.

This film should be a reminder to voters out there, especially before the upcoming elections, that there are more than two parties in this country, and that many of them have legitimate platforms.

Unfortunately, the film is inaccurate in depicting how easy it was for Dobbs, an independent, to get on the ballot in 13 states.

If it were easier for third parties to get on the ballot in this country, maybe this movie wouldn’t have been made.

Despite some of its shortcomings, “Man of the Year” is a delightful return to comedy for William.

Just don’t expect it to be the movie of the year.

Eric Iberri can be reached at

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