Considered one of the funniest movies of 2009 by many, the British political comedy In the Loop was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at this year's Academy Awards. Hype apparently got the best of me, because I didn't find it that funny. Still - In the Loop is a deliciously well-written and well-acted satire of the political scene.
Directed by Armando Iannucci and written by Jesse Armstrong and Simon Blackwell, In the Loop is about what happens after one little verbal slip-up by a politician. Both the U.S. President and U.K. Prime Minister fancy a war, but many others don't. When the British Secretary of State for International Development inadvertently appears to endorse the war on prime-time television, politicians on both sides of the pond converge, setting off a tidal wave of spin doctoring, lobbying and negotiation - all over something that may or may not exist.
The dialogue comes fast and furiously, and there's no question as to why the movie garnered its nomination. Of the political satires that have emerged in the recent past, few have been as complete as In the Loop. While many take an overtly goofy or exaggerated perspective on the politic topic they're exploring (typically war), In the Loop looks and feels real, even if what's being said is over-the-top and absurd. The gritty, in-the-trenches look Iannucci assumes for his picture works splendidly.
Still, as edgy and entertaining as In the Loop is, it isn't nearly as funny as I was expected. The movie is grin-inducing, but rarely does it evoke outright laughter. Having read on several websites that In the Loop was the funniest movie of the year, I was simply expecting more.
Still, In the Loop is an entertaining, enjoyable comedy-drama that does its job at satirizing Western politics. Those looking for something smarter than the typical fare should look no further than In the Loop.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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