Costner's character, Bud Johnson, reminded me of more than half the people I grew up with and live with in Michigan. "Bud" could have been from my hometown Bay City, Flint, Saginaw or any of the 'burbs around Detroit where they build cars.
He lives in a trailer park with his young daughter who takes care of him during one of his frequent beer benders and the depths of his interest go no deeper than NASCAR.
Bud drinks lots of beer, loves fast cars, works at a low-paying dead end job and struggles to put food on the table. Talk political philosophy with him and he'd think Plato was a clay like toy that kids played with. His hero was Richard Petty of NASCAR fame and not some heavy thinker or doer.
He's struggling to stay up with his day-to-day life and with his responsibilities as a single-dad.
Would he vote for Obama? Hmmm...I can't see it. Michigan and so many other states are filled with Buds and their families. Will they vote for somebody very erudite and who knows which wine to drink with which food?
But, back to the movie . . .
His daughter, a pre-teen, named Molly and played by Madeline Carroll is the responsible one who has a real social and civic conscience.
On Election Day, when dad breaks his promise to his daughter to vote, she sneaks in the voting booth to do it for him. Then the power goes out without recording her voting for him. Only thing saved is his name as a voter.
The presidential election comes down to the wire, it all hinges on one vote in this small New Mexico town. Bud becomes the object of affection for the two presidential candidates.
There are poignant moments and there are plot lines that can be explored.
On a Friday night in Lansing, MI, it was just good entertainment. If you're an older baby-boomer go for the senior discount. It's a fun couple of hours for $6 a ticket.