SWING VOTE follows the story of Bud Johnson (KEVIN COSTNER), an apathetic, beer-slinging, lovable loser, who is coasting through a life that has passed him by. The one bright spot is his precocious, over-achieving twelve year-old daughter Molly. She takes care of both of them, until one mischievous moment on Election Day, when she accidentally sets off a chain of events which culminates in the election coming down to one vote… her dad’s.
SWING VOTE is a comical look at the journey of one father and daughter who discover that everyone has the power to change the world.
“Swing Vote” has some comic moments, but the opening credits were not finished before there were two utterances of biblical profanity. This movie has a lot of strong language. That said, it does have some good moments. In one nice scene, Bud Johnson’s (Kevin Costner) daughter scolds him for using the name of Jesus as a profanity over and over. She protests, “He’s like a billion people’s savior!” Although that was a nice touch, Johnson repeats the same curse again later in the film. This sequence makes light of the profanity and exploits it as a gag, rather than a serious exhortation not to swear.
Young Madeline Carroll is excellent in the role of Johnson’s daughter Molly. When an unusual circumstance occurs in the story it is up to Johnson to cast the deciding vote for the next President of the United States. As letters flood their home from people who care about the issues of this country, including unemployment and health care, it is Molly who replies to them and makes note of their concerns.
The film is creative in going after laughs; some are wholesome, but many are crude. In one humorous scene, the incumbent president learns that illegal aliens entering the country is a concern to Johnson. In his next TV add, the viewer sees the President in the foreground speaking about this serious problem, while several illegal aliens in the background are racing across the U.S. borders which cracked up a lot of the viewers.
Unfortunately, the peppering of strong language throughout the film causes the movie to come up short of our endorsement as a family-friendly film. Sorry, Disney.