SPEECHLESS is a story of the love/hate romance between rival
speechwriters in a New Mexico senatorial campaign. They are a month
away from the election, and Geena Davis and Michael Keaton are
competing with each other to get their candidate elected while having a
romance at the same time. The story has superficial similarities to
the real life romance between Bush's speechwriter, Mary Matalin, and
Clinton's speechwriter, James Carville.
The two speechwriters alternate between playing tricks on each
other and helping out each other in getting their candidates elected.
They have a romance full of sight gags like the cliched love making
scene in a much too small car (MG I think). Throughout the movie,
their bosses never realize who the other speechwriter is. Right.
The movie starts slow but has two or three good laughs. After
that it is downhill all the way. Keaton and Davis are both uneven
actors. Keaton is better at his best that Davis, but they both have
had many brilliant and many embarrassing roles in their repertoire.
Here thanks to some awful direction by Ron Underwood and a miserable
script (SPEECHLESS is a perfect title given the quality of the script)
by writer Robert King, Keaton and Davis play unbelievable and worse,
boring characters. It was like they were on Prozac in some of the
Screenwriting 101 teaches that romantic comedies should either be
romantic or funny and preferably both. This movie was neither.
The worse part of the movie was the ending. Which senator would
win you were wondering? Having given up on romance or comedy, at least
you could hope for a little mystery. The ending was totally out of
left field. It was as if one candidate had to drop out because he
admitted to having adopted a space alien.
Finally, being a political junkie, I figured I would at least like
the show for the political aspects. Well, there was no Contract with
America to argue over here. These candidates had no apparent belief in
anything and, moreover, did not even claim to believe in anything.
Success was getting the lead on the local stations with any story
including inviting TV crews into your home to watch you make dinner and
to show how cute your dog is. Zzzzzzz.
Copyright © 1994 Steve Rhodes