Wag the Dog
- Barry Levinson
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Tuesday, December 26, 2000
In fact, he has given two of his best under the direction of Levinson: Rain Man (for which both men won an Oscar) and now this.
An adaptation of Larry Beinhart’s “American Hero,” Wag the Dog is a highly entertaining parody of the secrets and scandals of the White House and everything that is behind and in front of them, and also a mock of the rich of Hollywood, who live in luxury and triumph, while secretly submerged in frustration and depression.
Hoffman is a wow as a Hollywood Producer hired by political fixer Robert De Niro to stage a fake war in order to distract the people from a sex scandal involving the President, a couple of days before election day. The whole fantasy becomes a reality even for the audience of the movie, who know the truth. It even makes you wonder how often does that happen in real life, and how often do we believe their lies.
It also works amazingly as a way to take us into the head of the movie producers who feel underestimated while their work is very important for the whole process of filmmaking.
The comedy works perfectly well, even though the film is a little bit too long for its own good. However, the charming cast and the cleverness of the script make up for the whole length of the film. De Niro is great as usual, Anne Heche funnier than ever as a neurotic and passionate White House worker who follows De Niro and Hoffman every step they take. William H. Macy is also excellent in a brief role as a CIA agent.
The whole procedure is delightful, and the finale is surprising and ironic. This comedy will grow in status through the years, especially considering the growing scandals of the White House with every president.
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