Huggins is a lovable but naive dunce who simply wants to make a difference for his hometown. So the brothers install ruthless Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott) as his campaign manager. Wattley soon transforms Huggins into a win-at-all-cost contender – much to the disapproval of the candidate’s lonely wife Mitzi (Sarah Baker) – and the race begins in earnest.
As election day approaches, decency and civility are tossed aside by both individuals as the contest descends into farce.
Although Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell’s screenplay includes a few relatively serious passages of commentary – specifically a dour-faced final 20 minutes — dealing with issues like campaign finance reform, the majority of the running time is devoted to sophomoric humor and repellant shock gags.
While taking some funny swipes at how politicians try to use religion to win votes, moreover – “America, Jesus, Freedom” runs Brady’s risible slogan – “The Campaign” also includes material genuinely odious to viewers of faith. In particular, a scene involving Brady’s campaign manager Mitch (Jason Sudeikis) and the words of the Our Father – which, in a potentially embarrassing lapse, his pseudo-pious employer has managed to forget – sinks (albeit briefly) into obscene sacrilege.
The film contains an instance of blasphemy, some mild violence, an adultery theme, obscured frontal male and partial upper female nudity, a few uses of profanity, much sexual and occasional irreverent humor, pervasive rough and crude language and an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is O – morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R – restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Shaw is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.