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Karl Rove, I Love You

February 16, 2013

Cinequest 2008

karlToday is Tuesday, and I saw Karl Rove, I Love You on Sunday. Some of the movies I saw during the festival I decided I liked more after a few days went by. This movie had the opposite effect – I think I didn’t really like it. Keep in mind it was the last movie I saw at the festival, which makes it the twenty-something movie in 12 days. So if you thought I was dozing through movies before, you better believe I was tired by the time I saw this one.

To save my own brain time, this is what says about it:
Election Year, 2004. A documentary on the “unknown supporting actor” takes a surprising turn when the lead of the film (Dan Butler; “Bulldog” from the television series “Frasier”) becomes smitten with the idea of playing Karl Rove, President Bush’s notorious senior advisor. Initially bent on bringing Rove down, as Butler gets deeper and deeper into his role, he actually falls in love with Rove.

It was funny and I laughed quite a few times, and the audience laughed quite a lot, and I loved Julia Miranda, but I believe the audience was a little confused here and there, and I am admitting to being one of the confused ones.

I thought it was a movie. Then it appeared to be… a mockumentary? or a documentary? or a movie about the making of a mocku/documentary? I don’t know??? It was difficult figuring out what was real, what was not real, was that really Karl Rove, did he really write a letter, was anything real, or was it one giant joke?

In the Q&A afterward Julia Miranda explained that she loves movies that make her feel happy, creepy and sad in every scene. And they definitely did that, but I’m not sure I liked the feeling all the time. The “intervention” scene became more than a little uncomfortable, more so because it wasn’t even clear who was in on the joke and who wasn’t.

It only became clear (to me at least, but apparently not to everyone in the audience) toward the end of the movie that none of this was real when more really over-the-top scenes came – and then I felt more free to laugh, knowing this was all a big joke.

I will agree that the idea was a good one but I don’t think the outcome of the idea worked. I think it went a little too long for what it was and could have been cut to an hour. And I think making it clearer just a little earlier that this was all a joke makes it easier to get through.

But then again, twenty-something movies in 12 days. The sixth one in 24 hours. I was ready for the festival to be over. So if you saw it and liked it, I’m not going to argue with you, you are probably right.

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