Man of the Year

Rated 3.0

Man of The Year “The new leader of the Free World is a comedian.” That tagline for Man of the Year is also a kind of punchline, but not a particularly funny one, and not—as it turns out—as trenchant as you might have guessed at first. The comedian in this case is Tom Dobbs, a wise-cracking talk-show host played by Robin Williams. Dobbs’ political japes and popularity morph into a whirlwind party-of-one candidacy for the presidency—and beyond that, into an apparent election victory. There’s more to it than that, of course, but not always in a good or satisfactory way. Alongside its satiric comedian-for-president plot, Man of the Year has an intersecting tale of bungled electronic vote-counting. Writer-director Barry Levinson seems unable to sort through the script’s muddle of variously provocative concepts. The comedian’s candidacy strikes a comic-satiric note early on, but the voting-glitch plot gravitates increasingly toward a low-grade brand of paranoid thriller.