A Perfect Candidate

on June 19, 1996 by Kat Giantis
"A Perfect Candidate" arrives just in time for the 1996 elections, confirming everyone's worst fears about what goes on behind the scenes of a campaign. Producer R.J. Walters (his "The War Room" followed the people behind the 1992 Clinton campaign) is back with a scathing look at Oliver North's failed Senate bid against Charles Robb.
It is clear from the beginning that North and Robb deserved each other, as the two opponents engage in what has to be the most negative Senate campaign in history. Neither man emerges sympathetically in this film, although Robb suffers the most, coming across as a buffoon—and a dull and cheap one at that. The film focuses on the more despicable moments of the campaign—North lying to high school students; Robb stalking constituents in a grocery store—and what emerges plays more like the satirical "Bob Roberts" than a documentary.
Although Robb won by a slim margin, the horror of having to choose between the two is best summed up by a young college student, who said it was like trying to choose between the flu and the mumps. Directed and produced by R.J. Culter and David Van Taylor. Documentary. A Seventh Art release. Unrated. Running time: 81 min. Screened at the Seattle fest.
Tags: R.J. Culter, David Van Taylor, Documentary, Seventh Art, Senate, negativity, fear, satirical

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