Matthew Broderick plays his usual low-key but unsparing characterization of Jim McAllister, a high-school teacher at George Washington Carver High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Driven by a strange mixture of loathing and lust for pathologically overachieving student Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon), McAllister encourages a dim but popular athlete, Paul (Chris Klein from American Pie), to run against her in the election for student-council president. Director/co-writer Alexander Payne (Citizen Ruth) turns this deceptively simple premise into a complex and scathing comedy of ambition, corruption and desire, all at its most naked and petty. Witherspoon flips effortlessly back and forth from adolescent vulnerability to steely-eyed strength; she is becoming a contemporary Carole Lombard. This movie is a must-see!
One of Reese Witherspoon's finer moments, and an all around classic dark comendy. Election would be borderline slapstick if it wasn't so creepy and macabre. For a Type-A recovering grade-school overacheiver like myself, Election is as therapeutic as it is funny.