Welcome to Mooseport
2/4
poster

Details & Information from IMDB

Genre Comedy
Year 2004
Duration 110 min
Rating 5.3 out of 10
Description: The president of United States of America Monroe "Eagle" Cole (Gene Hackman) has just retired and divorced. His wife kept their house in Baltimore, and he decides to move to the small town of Mooseport, in Maine. His arrival is the motive for a great party in Mooseport, and the local authorities invite him to be the next Mayor and he accepts the invitation. However, the simple, shy, honest and clumsy local citizen Handy Harrison (Ray Romano) had previously accepted to be the Mayor, but he decides to decline the position. However, Handy decides to run for the election when Monroe invites his girlfriend for dinner. Their dispute and debates are broadcast and the place becomes a national sensation, with the press covering the movements of the candidates.
Comments: It lacks a satirical bite, which would have made the movie more relevant and interesting, but Welcome to Mooseport is an enjoyable comedy anyway. Ray Romano stars, and he proves himself to be quite an excellent comedian on the big screen. Of course, the role isn't that much different from his character on Everybody Loves Raymond, but it's not at all bad to go with what you know. It's worked with any number of comedians in the past, and it should work with Romano. Unfortunately, the movie tanked at the box office and was not liked much by the audiences who did see it. That really surprises me. Gene Hackman co-stars as the former President of the US, Monroe Cole. He is moving to the small Maine town of Mooseport, and some of the citizens persuade him to run for mayor. Unfortunately, others have also persuaded one of the town's upstanding citizens, the hardware store manager, Handy (Romano), to run. Handy is more than willing to drop out (he doesn't care much and doesn't doubt that the ex-President will trounce him), but when Cole unknowingly hits on Handy's girlfriend (Maura Tierney), the war is on. The film could have gone any number of ways at this point, and I expected it to become mean-spirited. But it doesn't. Cole is an egomaniac, which isn't shocking considering his life, and Handy is an extraordinarily nice guy. A little stupid, especially when it comes to his relationship, but he's the guy you'd like to have as a friend. The funniest sequence involves a golf game between the two candidates. There is one piece of this that is just a great example of montage and comic timing. The movie is sweet without getting too sappy. Yet the movie really squanders a lot of opportunities. This could have been a great political satire, and we need one right now. Its worst crime is hiring a cast that is more talented than it needs to be, thus wasting a lot of people in roles that are beneath them, and likely wasting a ton of money because of it. Marcia Gay Harden, one of the hardest working actresses in Hollywood today, and one of the best, is decent as one of the President's handlers. Rip Torn is a dirty campaign manager. Maura Tierney, so very good on the television show News Radio, doesn't have anything to do. Fred Savage, for God's sake, has most of the funniest moments outside of Romano's presence. Whatever complaints I have, I was always enjoying the movie. It's well worth seeing, and it is a must-see for fans of Romano. 7/10.