How far is a presidential candidate willing to go to win the support of one single voter?
That's the question at the heart of "Swing Vote," but it isn't the only question the movie raises. Can you be a news reporter and still have a soul? Are some white lies OK if they serve a bigger cause? Do politicians really understand the big issues facing the average American? And if they understand, do they truly care?
On several levels, "Swing Vote" reminded me of "Primary Colors," the movie based on the "barely fictionalized" book about Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. "Primary Colors" approached the topic of a presidential election from the insider view of a campaign team; "Swing Vote" tackles the question of what would happen if a presidential election came down to the vote of just one person.
But unlike "Primary Colors," which features a campaign staffer's suicide near the end of the movie and always leaves me feeling negative about the many shortcomings of candidates, I walked away from "Swing Vote" with a sense of why every vote matters, why people still want to have faith in our political system, and how each of us can make the right choice at the end of the day.
In case you're planning to see the movie, I won't offer any spoilers. I'll simply say that the ending surprised me -- but it shouldn't have.
This isn't summer blockbuster fare like "The Dark Knight" or "Iron Man," but it's an enjoyable ride, especially for fans of the political world or the news business.