Swing Vote

August 6, 2008 - Kevin Costner is a single dad with lots of problems - and that's before he finds out that the future of America rests in his hands. Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Lane and Paula Patton co-star. You'll notice a few other familiar faces, and get used to seeing Madeline Carroll because you'll probably be seeing a lot more of her in the coming years.

Costner plays Bud Johnson, a down and out dad trying to raise his daughter, Molly (Carroll), in a hick town named Texico, New Mexico. Because Bud is either drunk or hung over most of the time, Molly ends up raising herself and doing her best to keep Bud from totally giving up. On Election Day, Bud gets fired, gets drunk and passes out in his pickup. Molly takes it upon herself to forge his name and cast his vote. But, there's a problem. And, when the race for president ends up in a tie, Bud gets a chance for a do-over.

Overall Review: ** On a scale of 1-10, I'd give Swing Vote a 6. Costner is easy to watch and he seems to fit comfortably in the jeans and T-shirts that he wears for most of the movie. Carroll is engaging as his too-smart-by-half daughter, and Grammer and Hopper rise to their roles as the presidential candidates. My problem is that the movie never quite seems to find its center. Is it Bud and his struggle to decide how to vote? Is it Bud and his relationship with his daughter? Is it the daughter struggling to find a dad she can believe in? The movie has several entertaining parts, but they don't quite come together to make a whole.