Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Maybe we don’t need Jon Stewart back after all. During his 15-year residency on “The Daily Show,” the comedian offered a more incisive look at the news than most regular broadcast journalism provided, helping us through the dark years of George W. Bush’s presidency and making sense of a post-9/11 America. Though Stewart stepped down from “The Daily Show” in 2015, many fans felt his voice would have been a welcome balm during these hard times under Donald Trump. However, if Irresistible shows us where Stewart is now, perhaps he was right to quit while ahead. Even though the film takes place in Trump’s America, Stewart takes us to Wisconsin where a mayoral election attracts political strategists from D.C. Irresistible pokes its finger in the eye of campaigning and the money that members from both political parties dump into even the smallest races. Loosely based on the 2017 Georgia House race that saw both the Republicans and Democrats pour $50 million into their candidates, Irresistible is a satire that doesn’t choose sides. But we’ve seen this sort of lampoon before and we don’t leave Irresistible with any new knowledge other than the system is irrevocably broken. Steve Carell plays Gary Zimmer, a slick strategist for the DNC who is still reeling from Hilary Clinton’s loss. One of his aides brings a YouTube video to his attention that has gone viral: during a town hall meeting in Wisconsin, a resident stands up against a ruling that would infringe upon the rights of the undocumented workers who live in the town. Zimmer is intrigued. The man, Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), isn’t only a farmer, but a veteran. This is the sort of person who the Democrats should rally around. Gary flies to Wisconsin to meet with Hastings and convince him to run for mayor. Much of Irresistible’s humor is derived from Carell’s spoiled Gary as a fish out of water in the depressed Wisconsin town. All fine and good, but there also really isn’t anything endearing about the character who lowers himself to eat burgers and drink Bud because he thinks that’s what the locals do. Though Gary is effective in organizing a campaign for Hastings, the locals don’t really like him. He verbally harangues them and comes off as a total primadonna as he bemoans the lack of wifi in his lodgings. Gary isn’t the only vulture who flies into Wisconsin. Republican strategist, Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), arrives to support the incumbent, Mayor Braun (Brent Sexton). Riding high after helping Trump win, the crass Faith comes partially to help her party and partly to stick it again to her rival, Gary. Their quibbling boils down to the two of them arguing about how the loser of the election owes the winner hours of oral sex. You won’t want either of these folks to win. In today’s high political stakes, Irresistible feels like a benign throwback to a low-budget ‘90s comedy. Stewart is definitely on the side of the people of Hastings’ little town, who eventually turn the tables on the slick powerbrokers from D.C. But there are no shades of nuance in the denizens of the town. They all seem to feel a certain way, which feels false and disingenuous. Why make a comedy about politics and then ignore reality? It’s hard to give a movie a bad review when you agree with the point it’s making about the disconnect between big city and heartland politics. Trump won the election in part because Clinton didn’t bother to campaign in states like Wisconsin. But by presenting us with characters as cartoonish and unlikable as Gary and Faith, Stewart gets in the way of his messaging. There is no nuance, none of the incisive commentary that made “The Daily Show” so integral to the ‘00s. Skip Irresistible and tune into John Oliver instead.