Blue State

Blue State

Director: Marshall Lewy

Cast: Breckin Meyer, Anna Paquin, Gloria O'Neill

     
 

A disillusioned leftist pulls up stakes for the Great White North in this independent comedy-drama. It's 2004, and John Logue (Breckin Meyer) is a political activist working for the Democratic presidential campaign in Ohio. After a few drinks too many, John is interviewed on camera by a local broadcast journalist, and he announces that if George W. Bush is re-elected,…  See more details below

Overview

A disillusioned leftist pulls up stakes for the Great White North in this independent comedy-drama. It's 2004, and John Logue (Breckin Meyer) is a political activist working for the Democratic presidential campaign in Ohio. After a few drinks too many, John is interviewed on camera by a local broadcast journalist, and he announces that if George W. Bush is re-elected, he'll leave the country and move to Canada. A few days later, Bush narrowly defeats John Kerry, and John falls into a deep depression. After returning home to San Francisco, John ponders his alcohol-fueled pledge, and learns that a handful of leftists north of the border have formed a group called "Marry A Canadian," which provides contact with sympathetic singles willing to wed American expatriates hoping to escape the Bush regime and gain Canadian citizenship. John decides to give "Marry A Canadian" a try, and places a classified to find someone willing to split gas and keep him company as he heads for Vancouver. An attractive young woman named Chloe (Anna Paquin) contacts John and agrees to travel with him, but once they're on the road, he learns that politics are not Chloe's primary reason for leaving the States. Blue State received its world premiere at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
This little-seen political comedy marks a first - the first production of Paquin Films, headed-up by the innately gifted Oscar-winning actress Anna Paquin (who also stars) and her brother Andrew. The direct-to-video status alone makes it feel like a surprising and defeatist turn from an actress-cum-producer of Paquin's stature. But the question lingers: does the film deserve its dour fate? Yes and no. Blue State culls inspiration from an interesting and unusual phenomenon that transpired in late 2004, when (according to The New York Times), an untoward number of Americans grew so disgusted with George W. Bush's reelection (and John Kerry's defeat) that they made good on election night promises by packing their bags and high-tailing it to Canada - vocally paying homage, through their actions, to the thousands of American citizens who defected to Canada in the late '60s and early '70s to dodge the Vietnam-era draft. The story thus hones in on John Logue (Breckin Meyer), a committed "political activist" who does just that: makes a drunken vow in-between beers on election eve regarding citizenship in "The Great White North" and decides to keep it. In the process, he finds himself at the mercy of a nutty Canadian female webmaster who runs a site called, "Marry a Canadian.ca," and (for reasons never made explicitly clear, but that we can surmise from Paquin's desire to be in the movie) decides to advertise for a "traveling partner." Lo and behold, he finds one: a blue-haired, rebellious girl named Chloe (Paquin) who just happens to be physically attractive, intelligent and witty, and whose personality meshes cleanly with his own. (No awards for guessing what happens next). Admittedly, the film as a whole never sinks below the level of enjoyable, thanks in no small part to the winning presence of Meyer and Paquin - who exhibit satisfying and genial chemistry together - and the hip, inventive dialogue of writer-director Marshall Lewy's script. Lewy scores highest when he decides to pull offbeat punches with quirky, unusual characterizations - such as the said webmaster (depicted as not only unscrupulous and scheming but sociopathically man-hungry) and the presence of a gun-wielding Afro-Canadian revolutionary who tries to lure Chloe into a cracked plot to assassinate Dubya. These moments are few and far between, however, and the picture grows thin in hindsight because it appears far too schematic and too simplistic, and is a little too content to play by the rules. In retrospect, it lacks the spontaneity and unpredictability of everyday life. We can guess, from the first few scenes, that John will ultimately experience a change of heart about his desire to abandon the country, and (when Chloe makes her initial appearance) we know with surefire certainty that the two will fall in love. Lewy deserves credit for presenting a couple with a politically-driven relationship (a mature choice), and for building a credible character arc exhibited via John's burgeoning political consciousness, but the product of it - the conclusion that true political activism and patriotism are intertwined, and entail sticking with one's country and working aggressively for change from within - feels about as deep as a child's wading pool. Moreover, Lewy presents this idea in such a didactic and ham-handed manner that the final act practically beats the audience over the head and makes a dangerous lunge into "message movie" territory. Blue State may be thoroughly amiable, but its affability and its ease are its core problems: a contemporary comedy with insights into 21st century politics should at least respect the intelligence of its audience enough to present ambiguities and complexities, in lieu of hitting us with a black and white textbook case where we need only "select the proper answer." Paquin sports an astonishing amount of talent as an actress and a producer, but she can do much better than this piece of fluff - a formulaic rom-com that lies far beneath her.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/12/2008
UPC:
0883904100782
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:32:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Full-length audio commentary by writer/director Marshall Lewy

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Breckin Meyer John Logue
Anna Paquin Chloe Hamon
Gloria O'Neill Actor
Joyce Krenz Actor
Richard Blackburn Actor
Seun Olagunju Actor
Nick Oullette Actor
Adriana O'Neil Actor
Tim Henry Actor

Technical Credits
Marshall Lewy Director,Screenwriter
Ricardo Alms Production Designer
Rick Bennett Co-producer
Beau Bonneau Casting
Sriram Das Co-producer
Sam Friedlander Musical Direction/Supervision
Jim Heber Casting
Patti Henderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Kyle Irving Producer
Nathan Johnson Score Composer
Jamin Kerner Co-producer
Kevin Richardson Executive Producer
Bill MacInnis Art Director
Kyle Mann Co-producer
Andrew Paquin Producer
Anna Paquin Executive Producer
Phil Parmet Cinematographer
Celine Rattray Co-producer
Craig Richey Score Composer
Deanne Rohde Production Designer
Nathaniel Salter Executive Producer
Adam Stein Editor
Graham Timmer Sound/Sound Designer
Vince Vannelli Executive Producer
Chrissie Wilson Musical Direction/Supervision

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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Blue State
1. The Promise (Main Titles) [5:32]
2. Dumped [2:46]
3. MarryACanadian.Ca [3:25]
4. The Donkey Revolution [4:22]
5. Hitting the Road [5:00]
6. First Night [5:17]
7. A Little Surprise [5:34]
8. The Other Son [9:06]
9. Last Turnoff [3:15]
10. Welcome to Canada [1:33]
11. A Way Out [5:01]
12. Field of Popples [6:52]
13. All Talk, No Action [3:01]
14. Sightseeing [4:01]
15. One Step Closer [3:41]
16. Thanks For Everything [4:12]
17. Strawberry Statement [5:04]
18. The Only Good Thing [3:59]
19. Strange Bedfellows [5:36]
20. A New Way/End Titles [4:59]
Disc #1, Side B -- Blue State
1. The Promise (Main Titles) [5:32]
2. Dumped [2:46]
3. MarryACanadian.Ca [3:25]
4. The Donkey Revolution [4:22]
6. First Night [5:17]
5. Hitting the Road [5:00]
7. A Little Surprise [5:34]
8. The Other Son [9:06]
9. Last Turnoff [3:15]
10. Welcome to Canada [1:33]
11. A Way Out [5:01]
12. Field of Popples [6:52]
13. All Talk, No Action [3:01]
14. Sightseeing [4:01]
15. One Step Closer [3:41]
16. Thanks For Everything [4:12]
17. Strawberry Statement [5:04]
18. The Only Good Thing [3:59]
19. Strange Bedfellows [5:36]
20. A New Way/End Titles [4:59]

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