Blue State

Blue State is a movie about a guy who so completely devotes himself to John Kerry’s 2004 campaign because of his hatred of George W. Bush, that he swears to move to Canada if Bush is reelected.

After a confluence of events, including Bush’s victory, that establish that John (Breckin Mayer), in fact, has nothing keeping him in him home state of San Francisco, he finds a driving companion in the form of sassy Chloe (Anna Paquin), and takes off for the open road.

Along the way, Chloe, who wants to escape the States for her own reasons, openly wonders how much time John has on his hands to fuel his obsession with the election, and asks him if it is really such a big deal every day of his life who the president is that he needs to move to Canada. When he says, “Yes,” it somehow does not seem like unreasonable response.

During the course of their trip, the duo encounter politically like-minded anarchists, terrorists, hermits and liberal freaks, and regard every one of these paths as a potential life alternative. Ultimately, it is up to John and Chloe to discover their own way of dealing with a system that has disappointed them. 

The movie packs in a little too much op/ed type information, at times weighing down the dialogue in factual accuracy, and the supporting characters, both liberal and conservative, are more than a little over-the-top, but the unpredictable circumstances and comfortable pace make for an entertaining experience.

Additionally, both the juxtaposition of Americans versus Canadians and of even-keeled Chloe and the comparatively neurotic John, lend the film some its funnier moments.

The film is both entertaining and significant, and we are left thinking about the extreme measures people take in response to their political situations, the effectiveness of said measures, and the extent to which a participatory system relies on the involvement of its public, regardless of our temptation to abandon it.