Escape debate season with a film about an over-achieving, over-prepared female running against a popular, soft-headed male for student body president.
The award-winning “Election” (1999, rated R), screening at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library, begins with high school teacher Jim McAllister’s (Matthew Broderick) morning routine. He’s a healthy guy, running, showering, and looking forward to a day teaching civics, a job he enjoys.
But amid all this peachiness, a dank pit exists. On his way to his classroom, McAllister finds student Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) carefully arranging clipboards encouraging her classmates to support her campaign for school president.
McAllister doesn’t like Flick, mostly because she’s too ambitious. Or too attractive. He’s ambivalent about this. In either case, if she wins the then-unopposed election, he will have to work closely with her, and this could spell the end of his morality.
As the high-school politics become more heated, Flick’s focus remains on winning and furthering her academic career, despite some recent unprofessional and illegal behavior on the part of McAllister’s friend and former colleague Dave Novotny (Mark Harelik).
Yet this 17-year-old girl holds complete power over a mature, responsible, formerly happy McAllister.
Director Alexander Payne’s “Election” stands as a fine example of a tormented guy making a series of unethical choices as he fights to reclaim his life.
All screenings the Mesa Public Library Free Film Series are free of charge, thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries. The library shows movies to its upstairs meeting-room theater on the first Thursday of nearly every month.
The series winds up with “Born Yesterday” on Nov. 3 and “Paper Moon” Dec. 1.
For more information, call the library at 505.662.8240 or check online at http://www.losalamosnm.us/library/Pages/default.aspx under “Events and Classes.”