Primary Colors (1998)
February 10, 2019 3:46 AM - Subscribe

Based on the initially anonymous blockbuster 1996 account of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992, the film version continues the novel's weak à clef distance, casting a thinly disguised John Travolta as Bill and Emma Thompson as Hillary as they navigate the ethically trying road to the White House.

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some pro
A modern immorality tale with a keen, observant edge, Primary Colors can hardly help but fascinate as an exceedingly rare example of a film à clef. Variety

Nothing is tied up neatly in Primary Colors. It’s just as hard to make a final call on Stanton as it is on Clinton. Maybe that’s why this provocative film touches a nerve. It’s so funny it hurts. Rolling Stone
some con
Mr. Nichols's satirical talents are less evident here than his way with broader shtick (there's a very funny bit from Rob Reiner as a radio talk show host), and the film seldom displays much in the way of directorial hallmarks. Only occasionally does it strike sharply at an essential target, a taste for the trivial that is more damning than any Stanton-esque foibles. The New York Times

Primary Colors is not a disaster, just an ambitious disappointment whose time has passed. It’s dull, but it could have been worse. At least it’s not a movie about Al Gore. Observer
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dang, where is Joke Line these days? Appears to be puttering in the gardens of Time Magazine and...not on Twitter at all?

It's probably time I tackled this, Bulworth, and Bob Roberts.
posted by rhizome at 11:01 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]

There was such a huge tumult about unmasking Anonymous. I can only imagine what it would be like in the day of Twitter.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:31 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

My AP Govt teacher was a big fan of this movie. He never showed it in class though.

I understand why the Clintons and their die-hard supporters don't like this movie, but it did a better job of making Hillary likeable and sympathetic than Hillary or her campaign or Beyonce.
posted by riruro at 6:43 PM on February 12

This movie has saved me from throwing a cell phone into the woods out of frustration so many times, recalling that one scene has been one of the most therapeutic of any film ever!
posted by sammyo at 3:25 PM on February 15

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