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‘The Ides of March’: George Clooney and His Hollywood Friends Are No Longer in Love with President Obama

Beware politicians promising hope and change. Beware the ides of March.Movie review by David Franke

There’s angst in Tinseltown.  George Clooney and his Hollywood friends are no longer in love with President Obama.  He hasn’t delivered on that hope-and-change thing.  He hasn’t got us out of Iraq and Afghanistan; indeed, he’s getting us into additional wars.  And gasoline-powered autos haven’t been banned yet. 

I went to see “The Ides of March,” which George Clooney directs and stars in, expecting to see one of Hollywood’s top liberal icons saving the world from the Tea Party.  I was mystified by what I was seeing until I realized that this was a Hollywood coming-of-age tale.  You know, your first time, and how great it was while it lasted.  Granted, the denizens of Hollywood are no more political virgins than they are bedroom virgins, but with Prince Obama in 2008 it really was like reliving that very first time when the hormones were racing and you were transported into the clouds.

I have to say, it is very enjoyable watching Democratic politicians acting like politicians rather than candidates for beatification.  And the New York Times reporter portrayed as a harpy political blackmailer rather than Woodward and Bernstein delivering us from Richard Nixon.  And, most daring of all for Hollywood, the black Democratic governor of Ohio, with his own gospel choir in tow, bargaining behind the scenes for his best personal deal before he delivers his endorsement and delegates.

In fact, Clooney is so busy outing Democrats that he barely has any time to bash Republicans.  The worst thing the unseen Republicans are doing is voting in the open-party primary in Ohio for the Democratic presidential candidate who is not George Clooney.  In other words, bad taste.  That’s not very exciting compared to what the Democrats are up to—abortion paid for by the campaign, humping the interns, betraying your boss, and other fun stuff.

As the dismayed liberal reviewer for CinemaDope puts it, “Et tu, Clooney?!....With friends like Clooney trumpeting the Democratic cause, who needs enemies.”

“The Ides of March” is beautifully acted and produced, but it doesn’t deliver anything new about the gritty business of politics away from the spotlights.  Certainly political junkies are aware that a national presidential campaign is all about deal-making and compromising and fitting the message to the polls.  Heck, even Jose, who does my lawn, is not shocked by that in this day when politicians are less admired than dog-fight promoters.  (Have you seen the polls lately?) So what’s the point of this movie?

That’s when I realized that this is not about Pennsylvania Governor and presidential candidate Mike Morris, the character played by George Clooney, whose speeches at Ohio town halls sound like recycled transcripts of old candidate Obama speeches. No, it’s all about now-President Obama, and how he has fallen from grace, causing unmitigated pain to the innocents of Hollywood and Malibu.

Beware politicians promising hope and change. Beware the ides of March.

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You know some of us really do

You know some of us really do NOT care what HollyWood thinks. They didn't bother to ask Obama what kind of change he was spouting. He didn't renig on his promise, he did some monumental changes alright.