‘The Campaign:’ The comedy of politics

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star in 'The Campaign'

When you put two of the funniest people alive in one movie, you get one really funny movie. But said funny people seem to have some serious intentions behind the scenes.

In “The Campaign,” Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis play two candidates in a heated race for a congressional seat in the South. Their district is laughably small, but there are larger, sinister forces pulling the strings — and everybody plays dirty! But beneath the jokes about taking school assignments the candidates wrote in grade school and holding them up to the microscope, there is a dark truth they’re exposing.

Galifianakis shares an anecdote about his uncle Nick, who was a Democratic congressman from 1967 to 1973.

“He ran for Senate against Jesse Helms in North Carolina,” says Galifianakis. “That race is actually studied in political science classes because it was one of the first of the really heavy modern mudslinging [races]. … Jesse Helms was losing in 1972 to my uncle, who had the same last name [as I, and was] dark skinned. And the last two weeks of the election, Jesse Helms came up with a slogan that read ‘Vote for Jesse: He’s one of us’ and that changed it. So I grew up listening to all this kind of stuff. I kind of drew on that a little bit, just having my uncle tell me stories and about the dirty politics of it all.”

Punching babies?

“The Campaign”?director Jay Roach sat for a one-on-one with Metro to talk about art imitating life. Roach, who is probably best known for directing the Austin Powers movies, says he wasn’t surprised that talk surrounding the film was so serious.
“People like to talk about politics more than you’d think,” Roach says. “And I think it is because we do all sort of worry about it. It seems like the gap between what it could be and what it is is disconcerting to people.”
But Roach is definitely eager to talk about the jokes in his movie: “We started saying, ‘Let’s just make the funniest movie we can with two of the most hilarious actors on the planet,’” he says. “What can we cook up for them? How far can it go? Can Will Ferrell’s character get so annoyed by Zach’s character that he would take a swing at him and miss and hit a baby?”
Roach says he thought everything his stars did was so funny that he had a hard time chopping the film down to a suitable length.”I had a three-and-a-half hour cut a couple weeks into editing,” he says. “I was honestly laughing for all of it and thinking, ‘I’ve got to cut two hours of material?’”
Roach says that in the process of making the film, all parties did seem to have several moments of reflection on the political process. “We all love our country,” he says. “Once in a while we would have these conversations on the set that were like, ‘Wow, did you read about this that happened yesterday?’ or ‘Did you read about what that guy said?’ To be able to be laughing while you’re also kind of keeping up with current political situations is a great pleasure.”


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.


Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…


New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…


2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch


2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.


2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced


Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.