Oct 20, 2000

The Contender

The first lesson of this film is: Make it authentic. If you are going behind the scenes, you better be right. Not here. A Republican wants to try to hold up a vice presidential nomination. No one would care. The President nominates someone who switched from Republican to Democrat. Wouldn't happen. A freshman congressman joins forces with an opposition leader to stop his own President's appointment for VP. Not in a million years. A woman accused of having sex with two men strolls the grounds of the White House with the president while both are smoking cigars. Right. The Republican leader opposes the Senator because she is a woman, and cares nothing about the fact that she is an atheist. Not in my lifetime.

The other lesson is: Make your hero drive the action. This lead character, who is accused of improper sexual behavior, is treated as a punching bag for the entire film. She doesn't do anything but sit there with a stiff upper lip. Basic story stuff, and it's still true.