Welcome to Mooseport Review
What do you get when you have a romantic comedy that is not funny and contains no romance? Answer - Welcome to Mooseport!
Directed by Donald Petrie of Miss Congeniality and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days fame, Welcome to Mooseport tells the tale of US president Monroe “Eagle” Cole (the always watchable Gene Hackman)who is returning to his hometown of Mooseport to retire. He is encouraged to run for the position of town Mayor and, due to his growing romantic interest in town vet Sally (Maura Tierney), he finds himself running for Mayor against local handyman and Sally's long time boyfriend Handy Harrison (Ray Romano). President Cole must not lose face by coming second in the battle for Mayor and Handy is worried that to lose the race for Mayor will mean he also loses the woman he loves into the bargain.
I have seen many romantic comedies in my movie-going career coming, as I do, from a family with four girls in it, and I can honestly say without fear of contradiction, that this is comfortably the worst I have ever had to endure. The script is banal. It stretches the boundary of plausibility so far it snaps completely. Whether or not you find any humour in Mooseport will depend on whether you find the comedy of Ray Romano amusing. Better known in the USA for his hit TV series “Leave It To Raymond” Romano deals with a kind of pathetic, nervous, self effacing characterisation, a sort of cross between Hugh Grant and Rowan Atkinson, but with Rowan's looks, and Hugh's comedic talent. Unfortunately I do not. In almost every scene he was in I wanted to hit him in the face with a plank. The movie also comes unstuck by having two essentially likeable suitors for Sally to choose from, and undercooks the romance between both of them so that the love triangle (an essential ingredient in a good rom-com) is devoid of any emotion. So, not funny and no romance - is their anything worth watching this movie for? Well I do enjoy watching Gene Hackman; the man is pure class and brings a sense of purpose to anything he does. Also very watchable is Marcia Gay Harden who plays one of President Cole's aides, and secret admirer, but outside of this Welcome To Mooseport is about as much fun as putting on a quilt cover. Yes you're “Welcome To Mooseport” 'cos I certainly don't want it (That joke is comfortably better than anything in this movie).