Election

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Released 1999

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Movie Summary

Director:
Alexander Payne
Released:
1999
Rating:
R

Election, which is based on a 1998 novel by Tom Perrota, is a 1999 comedy directed by Alexander Payne. In a suburban high school in Omaha, Nebraska, student government elections are about to begin. Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon), the highest achieving and most manipulative girl in school, is running for class president uncontested. The fact that she is sure to win causes history teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) to become angry and dismayed, because he holds a grudge against Tracy for causing his friend and fellow teacher Dave (Mark Harelik) to lose his job earlier in the semester. In order to thwart her victory, Jim persuades well-liked football player Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) to run for president as well. Paul's sister Tammy (Jessica Campbell) also decides to run just to show everyone that the student government is meaningless. The election soon degenerates into chaos as Tracy sabotages the efforts of her opponents. While Jim tries to help Paul win the election, he also experiences turmoil in his own personal life.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    This is a nearly flawless little film, a cheerful nightmare that knows just where it wants to go and uses precisely calibrated comic effects to get there.

  • 90

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Brandishes the sort of intelligent wit and bracing nastiness that will make it more appealing to discerning adults than to teens who just want to have fun.

  • 80

    The New York Times

    Election is a deft dark comedy with a resemblance to "Rushmore." It's smart no matter what.

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    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    90s, Dark Comedy, Satire, Politics