Jessica Campbell in Alexander Payne's "Election" (1999)

Election (1999) Directed and co-written by Alexander Payne. Jessica Campbell as Tammy Metzler.

Tammy (in voiceover): Dear God, I know I don’t believe in you, but since I’ll be starting Catholic school soon I thought I should at least practice. Let’s see… what do I want? I want Lisa to realize what a bitch she is, and feel really bad and apologize for how she hurt me, and know how much I still love her. In spite of everything, I still want Paul to win the election tomorrow, not that cunt Tracy. Oh, and I also want a really expensive pair of leather pants, and someday I want to be really good friends with Madonna. Love, Tammy.

4 Responses to “Election (1999)”

  1. The deepest film yet made about teacher and student relations, and the moral dilemmas that can lead upstanding citizens to sow their own professional destruction. This is definitely a comedy, but it’s one with serious ramifications and bite, a satire that takes on political chicanery, and how a personal agenda can uproot civic duty, of how corruption can bring down a system that preaches the complete opposite. ELECTION may well be the finest high school satire, and it vies with Payne’s SIDEWAYS as the best film of an impressive career that still has a long way to go.

  2. I have to admit this one didn’t hold up for me all that well though it got a lot of mileage out of the Metzler sweet and sour brother/sister combination which I liked. I’m beginning to think, with the exception of Sideways (which I’ve always had problems with) and his short in Paris je t’aime, I don’t like Alexander Payne all that much.

  3. I haven’t seen this in years, given the two varying responses in the comments, I’m curious how it’ll pay off on rewatch.

  4. If I were a betting man Colin (and I am), I’d guess I wind up no the outside of opinion on this one. Something about Payne just rubs me the wrong way.

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