Blue State

Marshall Lewy

While the 2000 election results seemed like a bad dream to Democrats such as myself, we all had hope that in 2004, voters tired of the Bush administration would turn out in large numbers to elect John Kerry. Unfortunately, we were wrong and during that night after a few states began turning red on the interactive television maps that channels like CNN love to flash before our eyes, some of us stared in shock and others who were far more radical began thinking of moving to that country to our north.

Kerry campaign worker John (Breckin Meyer) is a young, patriotic and fiercely political blogging pundit so idealistically dedicated to his work and belief that Kerry will win that not only does he canvas homes with Bush signs in their front lawns but he also makes a bold, impulsive statement swearing on his life that if George W. Bush wins the 2004 election, he will pack up and move to Canada. When red dominates the election map, he at first tries to forget that promise but soon after friends start wishing him well in his new homeland and his girlfriend announces her engagement to someone else, he puts up fliers offering to carpool with any other fed up Democrats. John has a few interviews with prospective travelers but gets depressed by the choices until attractive Chloe (Anna Paquin), whom we first see adding blue dye to her dark hair and piercing her nose, walks into the coffeehouse announcing that she’s so fired up, she’s willing to leave the very next day. Sensing a likeminded soul and romantic prospect, John eagerly makes plans, including arranging the opportunity to find a new wife through the website “Marry a Canadian" in case things with Chloe don't work out.

When vegetarian, obsessive and super Type A John who has mapped out his route including gas stations that do not use Middle East oil sets off wanting to listen to Democratic radio the entire way, he has a rude wakeup call in wild Chloe who may not be as politically interested as he’d believed as their journey takes on added significance when they visit his right wing parents and enter Canada, only to discover that it may not be the dream they’d had in mind.

Funny and well-acted, Blue State benefits from a truly surprising twist midway through the film that reveals the characters’ true motivations and intentions when secrets are revealed which tie in with the Iraq war. Paquin, who is one of the film’s executive producers, continues to choose daring and thought provoking work and while, admittedly the caricatures of some of the Canadians in the film who are depicted as hippie haters of these United States may annoy viewers in Canada, the film also pokes fun at politically active complainers who prefer to play victim rather than act. An entertaining little independent sleeper that’s far more accessible than a typical newscast about Super Delegates, Blue State hit DVD shelves last week.