Blue State Movie Review

I would imagine that even deep in the heart of Texas, everyone knows somebody like John (Breckin Meyer), the character at the center of Blue State. You remember this guy: He swore in 2004 that if Bush was re-elected to the Presidency he would -- wait for it -- move to Canada, I swear. I worked right next to that guy for a full year, and guess where he moved? Nowhere.

After John Kerry falls to defeat at the hands of Dubya, John finds his campaign promise, aired on television, being taken seriously. He's also lost his job and his girlfriend, so there's really nothing keeping him in California. So, why not? Move to Canada. OK.

From here, things get a little contrived. To get into Canada, John registers at a "Marry a Canadian" website to arrange a marriage of convenience so he can live up north. For some reason, he decides to recruit a buddy for the drive. After interviewing a handful of people, he opts for the free-spirited Chloe (Anna Paquin), who's so alternative she has a blue streak in her hair.

As they drive, differences emerge: John has planned out where all the non-Middle-East-owned gas stations are along the route, while Chloe turns out not to even know how to drive a stick shift, nor is she even a vegetarian. She's harboring plenty more secrets, the biggest one revealing exactly why she's on this trip to begin with.

Sounds like quite a romantic comedy setup, right? Well, of course it is, as we try to piece together whether John and Chloe will make it as star-crossed expatriates, or whether John will marry that older woman in Winnipeg. Or whether they'll all end up in the clink.

Unfortunately, the two leads don't have much chemistry, made worse by the fact that their characters would seem to hate each other, too. That leaves the movie to try to earn your sympathy by making its case on another front, with various characters asking (directly or obliquely) whether "running away" is an appropriate response to your problems, be they a bad president or something else. An 11th hour meeting with a Vietnam-era expat drives this point home, rather heavy-handedly.

Blue State isn't a bad film, but the romance is weak and the comedy is pretty much nonexistant, as the film is far too wrapped up in its politics to leave room for laughter. Those of you who threatened to move to Canada, well, you can use this film as the basis for your excuse as to why you didn't skip town, next time someone asks.

The DVD includes a commentary track.

Cast & Crew

Director : Marshall Lewy

Producer : Kyle Irving, Andrew Paquin


Blue State Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 2008


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