Dvd Review: ‘Blue State’


Politics and romantic comedies rarely seem to mix. Heck, politics are dangerous to try to mix with any genre. That’s why ‘Blue State’ really goes out on a limb to try to make a statement and to make you laugh.

John (Breckin Meyer) is an ardent supporter of John Kerry during the 2004 elections. He says that if George W. Bush wins his bid for re-election, that he will move to Canada. Well, we all know what happened. His decision is made easier when he finds out that his girlfriend is engaged to someone else. After looking online for a site that promises the arrangement of easy marriages to acquire Canadian citizenship, he packs his things and heads for the border.

He’s not alone, though. A strange girl with blue hair named Chloe (Anna Paquin) joins John and the two look to their northern destination as a way to start new lives.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that running away to Canada doesn’t solve all of their problems. In fact, it creates more for Chloe who is a hiding a secret. The characters also predictably develop feelings for each other which means it’s not so simple to marry a Canadian and start life over.

That’s the problem with this film: it’s far too formulaic. The small budget is fine because the story doesn’t require elaborate scenes, but a few left turns would have gone a long way. Even the romantic elements of the story are too tepid and lacking in chemistry. Our protagonists have some minor sexual tension because the story dictates that they must. It doesn’t seem to develop believably.

There are a few funny moments scattered throughout but they, and the exploration of the very real proclamation that many people made during the election aren’t really enough to make this anything special. It almost feels as though the film was a step behind current events. It was released in 2007, which saw President Bush heading toward lame duck status. Watching this a few years later forces the viewer to think back to those years and compare our current state to how things were then. Some things have certainly changed, but a considerable amount is still the same. Really, the political aspects of this film only serve as the motivation for the characters to make their journey. It all turns to a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ story in which John goes from an American who is disgusted by the direction his country is going to one who sticks up for his homeland against the criticisms of others.

Meyer plays a decent, if annoyingly partisan, fellow. His everyman persona doesn’t quite fly because he goes to great lengths to prove a point. Paquin’s toughness gives some hints in hindsight about her character’s true intentions, but she lacks that attitude one might hope for from her character.

Special features include: audio commentary from writer/director Marshall Lewy.

The handful of good points to this film aren’t enough to overcome to fatal flaws of the story. This indie flick didn’t make a big splash upon its DVD release for a reason.

Rated R         92 minutes           2007

When J.J. Ellis isn’t writing as the Allentown DVD Examiner, his Decent Exposure Radio can be heard on the air every Friday night from 10:30 to midnight (EST) on WXLV 90.3 FM or wxlvradio.com!

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