Remember that Kevin Costner movie about the US presidential election that was decided by the vote of one apolitical loser, played by Costner? Of course you don’t. It was stupid and forgettable.
Just like the movie Swing Vote (yeah, that was the name of the Kevin Costner movie), nobody’s going to remember Claudio Bisio in the weak comedy, Benvenuto Presidente.
They are similar; in Swing Vote, because of a government fluke that doesn’t make any sense at all, Kevin Costner gets to decide the next president and in Benvenuto Presidente, because of a government fluke that doesn’t make any sense at all, Claudio Bisio gets to BE the president.
I’m no movie snob; I love stupid comedies as much as the next person and I’ve already admitted to being a fan of Checco Zalone. But while comedies that get too awfully esoteric are often annoying, and some of the best comedies are pretty dumb, they still have to be funny.
Maybe I wasn’t laughing because I’ll just never get the references; maybe you have to be Italian to get Benvenuto Presidente’s satire. The story goes like this: When an easygoing librarian/fisherman whose name just happens to be Guiseppe Garibaldi is named president because the political parties are screwing with each other, everybody expects him to resign so corruption in the capital can go back to normal.
He sees right away that everybody is crooked and that they all think he’s a joke, so he decides to prove them wrong and keep the job. As if all that weren’t unbelievable enough, there’s a far-fetched physical attraction between the president and his super sexy vice president (played by Kasia Smutniak), marijuana that gets mistakenly served to foreign visitors, and lots of other comedy clichés that weren’t funny the first time somebody stuck them in a movie.
Claudio Bisio is always amusing and I’m still a big fan, but this one, like the Kevin Costner movie that took me half a day to remember its name, is equally unimpressive.