It’s Election Day, and you can’t bear to watch. It’s for just such occasions we’ve compiled 12 for ’12, the political comedy films that will keep you out of the dumps about the future of the country.
Black Sheep (1996)
Chris Farley wreaks havoc as the gaffe-prone sibling of a gubernatorial candidate in Washington state. David Spade runs damage control.
Bob Roberts (1992)
Tim Robbins’ satire of a right-wing folk singer’s caustic Senate campaign in Pennsylvania.
Warren Beatty’s disillusioned California Senator has a breakdown, gets suicidal and starts telling the truth.
The Campaign (2012)
A take-no-prisoners race for a North Carolina House seat pits incumbent philanderer Will Ferrell against super PAC-backed neophyte Zach Galifianakis.
The Candidate (1972)
Robert Redford is the sacrificial lamb in the California Senate race. He starts speaking his mind, and people start supporting him.
When the President goes into a coma, dead ringer and everyman Kevin Kline is tapped by a freaked-out White House staff to run the country.
Hippie teens Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams get wrapped up in Richard Nixon’s fall from grace.
The Distinguished Gentleman (1992)
Eddie Murphy’s Thomas Jefferson Johnson, a Florida con man, banks on mistaken name ID to win a House seat. He finds out his schemes are small potatoes on Capitol Hill.
War is hell. But high school student council elections aren’t too far behind. Overachiever Reese Witherspoon runs afoul of her teacher/disillusioned shlub Matthew Broderick.
Head of State (2003)
Chris Rock plays a D.C. alderman who’s talked into the presidential race by conniving strategists. Bernie Mac, his VPOTUS pick, steals the show. Watch him disembark Amtrak in D.C.
Primary Colors (1998)
John Travolta as Bill Clinton? This Elaine May adaptation of Joe Klein’s initially anonymous roman a clef novel features a great cast: Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates, Larry Hagman and Maura Tierney.
Wag the Dog (1997)
In this cynical take on campaign optics, embattled campaign adviser Robert DeNiro teams up with Hollywood producer Dustin Hoffman to orchestrate an overseas conflict the sex-scandal-plagued POTUS can decisively defuse.