A small-town merchant (Ray Romano) competes with a popular ex-president (Gene Hackman) on two fronts: running for mayor and vying for the affections of his own taken-for-granted girlfriend (Maura Tierney). Besides Hackman, Romano and Tierney, the cast includes Marcia Gay Harden, Rip Torn, Christine Baranski and Fred Savage. Romano is just as whiny and annoying as he is on his overrated TV show. And Tom Schulman’s script may be the worst one ever written by someone who once won an Oscar (for Dead Poets Society
, which seems a long time ago now). The situations are dumb, the characters are asinine, and every “gag” line flops with a sickening splat. Add Donald Petrie’s hammy direction and Victor Hammer’s ugly cinematography, and the result is a movie not even good enough for the USA Channel.