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"Fortunately, like Chinese food, Welcome to Mooseport will be gone entirely from your memory, possibly before it's over, leaving you hungry for another movie." 




Welcome to Mooseport
The Masked Reviewer

It is an election year, and for those of us who are tired of the continual caucusing, primaries, debates, and polls, it's nice to be able to escape the electoral process by going to see a movie.  Even though Welcome to Mooseport is about a mayoral election, that's okay...it's so mundane that you'll forget before the film ends.  In fact, it's so vapid that you're likely to forget your own name.

The beauty of the film is that once you see it, you'll be able to see it again in three months and remember absolutely nothing about it.  It is entirely forgettable.  It's kind of surprising, considering that there's a good cast. 

Ray Romano from "Everybody Loves Raymond" is the star.  Wow.  Comedy genius, right there.  He is the undisputed king of fumbling awkwardness, and he gets to do some of it in this film.  Do you love Ray Romano (like everybody)?  Do you really love him?  Lots?   Do you see every episode of his show (whatever night it airs) with die-hard loyalty?  Does it make you fall on the floor in waves of uncontrolled laughter?  If so, there's about a 1% chance that you'd find this movie to be somewhat marginal.  Okay, the Masked Reviewer might be exaggerating a little bit.  But, Welcome to Mooseport doesn't have the wacky characters support him that "Everybody Loves Raymond" has. 

That's a problem.  You can take just about anyone and surround them with wacky characters and you get a sit-com that will be at least marginally successful for many years.  You can also do a very subtle comedy, with jokes that aren't uproariously funny, and it can work if the characters or plot are interesting.

This movie doesn't feature any interesting characters.  Not a one.  They tried for a lot of the standard character types: the sneaky, driven politician.  The conniving, plotting politician's staff members.  The strong female love-interest.  And let's not forget the wacky locals, full of sass and down-home flare!  But not a one of them leaves a lasting impression. 

The cast is impressive.  Gene Hackman plays the kind of role he often plays in comedies: a charming yet flawed dignitary of some sort.  Maura Tierney (who you may remember from such TV shows as "ER" and "News Radio") plays the kind of role she often plays: a quiet and frustrated good-hearted love interest, burdened by life.  Fred Savage (who you may remember from "The Wonder Years" and one of those Austin Powers movies) plays the kind of role he often plays: a young man, eager to impress.  Christine Baranski (who you may remember from "Cybill" and The Birdcage) plays the kind of role she often plays: a sophisticated bitch.  And Academy Award (tm) Nominee Marcia Gay Harden (who you may remember from Mystic River) plays...well...a woman.

The writing for this film is awful.  Despite competent acting across the board (except for Ray Romano, who is still refining the intricacies of his stagecraft), none of the characters are well-developed or even remotely interesting.  It's a movie set in a small town -- there are going to be those crazy and colorful locals, right?  Even they are boring. 

This movie would seem to appeal primarily to old folks: people who like comedies that aren't too funny.  You don't have to think, the ideas presented are simple and hackneyed, and it's not in "bad taste".  It's the kind of movie that some people will laugh at, because the punch lines to jokes can be seen from a mile away.  Most of us just get bored by these films, but to some, it's the pinnacle of movie entertainment:  because they can figure out the punch line before it's said, they feel smart and funny.  Great.  For most people, though, it's just sad.

It's not a movie that you can really get angry about, because it's so...nothing.  You might find yourself noticing different things about the actors who are in it...you may picture them not as celebrities, but as people who have to make a living and show up to a job and work hard and bring home a check to pay the mortgage.  They aren't bad.  They do a good job with what they're given.  But...yikes...watching Welcome to Mooseport is like waiting for a bus.  However, if you wait for a bus for 2 hours, the excitement is still maintained, because you know the bus will eventually show up.  Mooseport just drags on.

Fortunately, like Chinese food, Welcome to Mooseport will be gone entirely from your memory, possibly before it's over, leaving you hungry for another movie. 


Expectation from the Title: The sailors on the French frigate S.S. Bon Apetit had been at sea for months; now on the verge of mutiny due to the lack of chocolate creamy deserts, their captain decides to set ashore and get the men what they need.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Gene Hackman gives his all in every project he's in.

The Pros: Well...it's not offensive intellectually...and there is a moose in it at one point.  The big joke in the movie was...uh...

The Cons: Dull, nothing, boring, vapid, empty. 

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