"Fuzzy Political Correctness"
What You Need To Know:
WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT is a lackluster spoof peppered with foul language and politically correct comments that didn’t elicit any laughs from the audience. The last third starts to come together when the movie moves toward an ending which indicates that love and principles matter. This ending is within the context of a liberal worldview, however. Nobody sees anything wrong, for instance, with Handy’s sexual relationship with Sally. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(HH, PC, B, LL, V, SS, N, AA, M) Humanist worldview containing politically correct attitudes about sex, with a nod to ethical principles and a warm, fuzzy romantic ending; 17 obscenities and five profanities; two fistfights, one of which brings down the curtain, the sandbags, and the staging at the Mooseport town hall, woman hits man sporadically to show she’s stronger than he is and hurts him; kissing, discussions of sex, and dogs copulate for humorous effect; nude character runs through town and everybody says "hi" to him but private parts not exposed, and discussions of lingerie and lingerie thrown around room; alcohol used to get drunk; no smoking; and, lying, graft, corruption, government wheeling and dealing, and blackmail.
Donald Petrie, son of my friend Dan Petrie, has done a lot of funny moves, such as the brilliant MYSTIC PIZZA, funny GRUMPY OLD MEN, and hilarious MISS CONGENIALITY. WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT is not one of his better movies. Much of it is a lackluster, low-key spoof peppered with foul language and politically correct comments that didn’t elicit any laughs from the audience. The last third starts to come together, but not enough to make it worthwhile viewing.
In the movie, the President of the United States, Monroe “Eagle” Cole – played too predictably by Gene Hackman – is retiring to his Mooseport, Maine summer home. He has a future of lucrative speaking engagements and book deals as the most popular president ever in the White House. The town council convinces him to run for mayor. He agrees because his wife divorced him during his tenure as president, and now the only way he can keep the Mooseport house from her evil clutches is to indicate, by running for mayor, that he is really a resident of the town.
What the town council didn’t realize, however, is that the owner of the local hardware store, Handy Harrison, played by Ray Romano, has just thrown his hat into the ring by filing with the town clerk just before the deadline. Handy has no skeletons in his closet. He is an all-around nice guy, except for the fact that he’s never proposed to his veterinarian girlfriend Sally, although they’ve been dating and evidently sleeping together for many years. When Eagle Cole asks Sally out on a date, Handy decides to fight for her and really run for mayor.
Now, Cole’s future is at stake. The national press is portraying him as a laughingstock, so he makes it his point to win and get the girl. He brings in his political team, including Rip Torn playing his long-time campaign manager, and starts to engage in every dirty trick in the book. From fistfights, to rock-paper-scissors, to wagering, the movie moves toward an ending which indicates that love and principles really matter.
This ending is within the context of a very liberal worldview, however. Nobody sees anything wrong with Handy’s cohabitation, strong obscenities abound, an elderly nude runner is a joke throughout the movie, and off-color comments are seen as natural. Therefore, the very content of the movie goes against its conclusion that both men should have been more principled.
WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT could have been a cute movie. It is not, and it’s not worth spending a few dollars to get to the last third. If you want to see it, wait until it comes to TV.