Home > Uncategorized > Why the GOP Nomination Should Be a Romantic Comedy

Why the GOP Nomination Should Be a Romantic Comedy

"Wait...haven't I seen this one before?"

It looks like Mitt Romney’s a lock for the GOP nomination. Something disastrous had to happen at Iowa tonight, but Romney has hung in there and could take a state he probably should’ve lost. InTrade has him at over 75% for winning the nomination. Even though Iowa is a dead-heat with Santorum, it’s a long-distance car race and Santorum and Paul are running on a quarter tank. Even if the first leg is interesting, the rest is almost inevitable.

All of which makes me think: isn’t the 2012 GOP nomination process basically one long romantic comedy, a chick-flick a la politics? Think about it: the GOP sees the Big Dance on the horizon and needs a date: but who to take? Like any good rom-com, there’s the old friend, the trusty pal who’s always been hanging around, looking for a chance to be more than just friends–good ol’ Willard himself. And, let’s be honest, he’s decent, not bad looking, clean-cut, good job: any girl would be lucky to have him. But it almost makes too much sense–and the GOP wants some excitement! Some suspense!

So she plays the field. First up, the swagger from the South, Rick Perry. In a movie, Perry would be the studly football player with great hair and broad shoulders. He’s got all the fame and glory of an All-American athlete–Texas governor, never lost an election. And then….he opens his mouth (or, when trying to name the three departments he’d cut, he infamously doesn’t open his mouth). Yeah, this isn’t going to work.

So Romney shows up the door with a dandelion, a box of tissues, and a a DVD of Say Anything over which to commiserate the loss of Perry. But the GOP’s not home–it’s already riding shotgun in Herman Cain’s vintage Mustang. All rom-coms need a “new guy,” a fresh face in a town where everyone else looks tiredly familiar. Plus, he’s rich (successful business owner), big smile, and laughs easily. But, as these things tend to go in Hollywood, the new guy’s got a history that follows him around from port to port. Suddenly, Cain’s smile becomes much creepier, and after a screaming match in the rain alongside a state highway, the GOP is walking back to town with the Mustang tearing off for the horizon.

By now, time’s running out. All the GOP’s friends have already gotten their dresses, are picking out their flowers, and have begun ordering limos. Romney calls to check up, say he owns his own tux and could get dinner reservations for that Italian place in no time. The GOP considers it, is about to say yes, but there’s a knock at the door. And it’s no other than the old boyfriend: Newt Gingrich. It was a fiery on-again, off-again relationship–passionate, always volatile, but always exciting. He’s older now, and he also looks a bit maturer. Could the same excitement exist as before, but now with a cooler head and a steadier hand? Yet it doesn’t take long for past problems and confrontations to flair back up–there’s simply too much baggage between the GOP and him, and the GOP starts to wonder how it ended up with this guy in the first place. Plus, the GOP starts to hear about how he’s spent his time since you broke up, and she squirms (“You got how much money for acting as an ‘historical advisor’ to Fannie Mae?”)

And now it’s the day before the dance–the GOP’s all broken up, convinced that there’s no one out there that would take her now, that she’s burned too many bridges. She’s about to give up, pull out the ice cream, and scroll to Elliott Smith on the iPod, when…there he is. In his tux. With the dinner reservation, as promised. The reliable friend, the platonic companion. And–how many times have we seen this scene?–the GOP realizes that it’s dream date was right there all along, waiting for her to come around, waiting for her to realize that there’s no love like being in love with your best friend. It’s so sweet, so sappy so…

Formulaic. Election year, like almost all rom-coms, can’t end soon enough.

So how would you cast this flick? Here are my nominations:

GOP: Katherine Heigl. A veteran of the romantic-comedy industry, Hiegel shares at least one key feature with the GOP: they both put out the exact same movie every four years.

Rick Perry: Matthew McConaughey. “Mr. Soderbergh, today’s scene I think would be a good opportunity to take my shirt off.” Of course it’s McConaughey! Texas accent, All-American looks, and you cringe every time he begins to speak.

Hermain Cain: Gaius Charles. I’m going to be generous to Cain and cast Charles here, one of my favorite actors from Friday Night Lights. Charles brings a lot of energy to the screen, and would make a great supporting actor for the second quarter of a 100-minute movie.

Newt Gingrich: Hugh Grant. The ultimate old boyfriend who, upon closer look, reminds you that’s not worth it and it’s time to move on. Still, he does sound smart, doesn’t he?

Of course, we have to through in some bit parts for Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul. Huntsman is the the nerdy hipster in the movie, making Nirvana jokes that no one is laughing at. He will be played by Jason Schwartzman. Ron Paul will be played by  Tom Cruise–has got so much going for him, but strikes as you as more than a little batty.

And last, but not least, Mitt Romney himself. For Mitt, we have to capture the look of a decent-looking friend who’s nerdier than you care to admit and has more facts than you care to hear about. For Willard, I go with Adam Scott, who plays Ben on Parks & Recreation.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Liz
    January 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Ok, this is BRILLIANT. And I’d have to agree with all of your casting suggestions, except that I can’t stand Katherine Heigl (which, I realize, works in this particular rom-com, but still, I can’t force myself to vote for her no matter how hard I try) and I’d replace Gaius Charles with Will Smith. I think he could pull off the charming-yet-smarmy role quite well.

  2. DLewis
    January 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Nope–if I’m going to see this movie, I want at least one actor I like a lot in there (will, Adam Scott counts too). Charles stays–but point taken.

  3. January 15, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    I think I’d switch most of the cast… but the post is terrifically funny. 🙂

    p.s. If you ever need ideas for romantic-comedy male roles, you might check here: http://www.imdb.com/list/s_WZK5F2x-Y/

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