In modern America, the
political divide has become deeper and more vicious than at any time in
memory. Once upon a time, people would consider a mixed marriage to be
different religions. Now it seems nearly impossible to imagine that a
relationship could grow and prosper in the shadow of the blue state/red
steeps itself in this rancorous rift; presenting an opposites-attract
relationship in the midst of historical reality – the 2004 Republican
National Convention in New York City.
This is the story of Lea
Jones (Woodwyn Koons), a pretty thirtyish Democrat activist from Connecticut
in town to protest and David Massey (Matthew Mabe), a handsome Texas
conservative who is there to participate. They were friends – with a
lingering sexual tension that they never acted on – back in college at
Dartmouth. He is married. She is engaged.
They meet up for coffee and
are immediately offended by each others' political beliefs. However,
the lingering attraction and the amped-up energy of their missions lead them
into an ill-conceived love/hate affair.
All of this is set in the
midst of some real historical footage of the RNC. One of the actors
here even was the sign-language translator for Bush's keynote speech,
leading to some fascinating scenes where the staunchly Democratic signer has
a personal crisis as to whether he should endanger his job by making a
political stand on the stage.
This real footage gives the
film a very realistic vibe. In fact, I have to admit for the first
five minutes or so I wasn't quite sure whether or not this was a
It's kind of obvious that
writer director Stephens sides with the blue states, but that does not color
her judgment completely, characters on both sides do stupid, hurtful things
both professionally and personally.
throughout most of the film the Republican man seems to be the more
open-minded of the couple, appearing to process and really consider the
valid arguments of the other side. This is blown away in the last few
scenes though, where David does a complete about face and commits a stunning
act of betrayal. You're not sure if he was always two-faced or if it
was just a matter of a spurned lover,
however the viciousness of his last monologue makes you question everything
he ever said or did – and whether we will ever all be able to get along.
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Posted: October 20, 2006.