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Man of the Year Synopsis

What would happen if one of the nation's funniest men became its leading one? Oscar winner Robin Williams reunites with the director of Good Morning, Vietnam to answer just that question in the comic tale of an entertainer's accidental rise to power, Man of the Year.

Acerbic performer Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) has made his career out of skewering politicians and speaking the mind of the exasperated nation on his talk show. He cracked scathing jokes at a fractured system night after night...until he came up with a really funny idea: why not run for president himself?

After a flip comment, Dobbs ignites a grassroots movement that puts him on the ballot. Hot on the campaign trail, he debates elected drones and says exactly what frustrated voters have often thought. Nov. 2nd later, the muckraker wins--only to learn that a computer voting error gave him the victory. With time ticking on the inaugural clock, Dobbs has a big decision to make: should he go back behind the mike or stay in the Oval Office?

What would happen if Jon Stewart became president? Personally, I think the world would be a better place, but Man of the Year thinks there might be problems. Robin Williams plays a Stewart-like television host who runs for president as a gag... and then accidentally wins. My interest in this film was pretty low at first, but the trailer is a nice reminder that yes, Robin Williams actually is funny.

Sometimes his improvisational mania goes a little too far, and perhaps his recent movies haven't done much to shine up his reputation, but Williams remains one of Hollywood's most interesting talents. On film, he's been more of a success as a dramatic actor than playing funny. They say every clown is crying on the inside, and Williams has had a great run letting his dark side out on screen in movies like Insomnia and One Hour Photo. Lately he's tried to get back to laughter with movies like R.V., but Man of the Year is his first attempt in awhile at mixing the two in a sort of dramedy.

Will it work? That all depends on whether or not Barry Levinson can properly harness Robin's gift. He's hard to reign in, but when properly focused Robin Williams is one of Hollywood's best actors, comedic or otherwise.

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