Gene Hackman as Monroe ‘Eagle’ Cole
Ray Romano as Handy Harrison
Marcia Gay Harden as Grace Sutherland
Maura Tierney as Sally Mannis
Christine Baranski as Charlotte Cole
Fred Savage as Bullard
Rip Torn as Bert Langdon
June Squibb as Irma
Wayne Robson as Morris Gutman
John Rothman as Stu
Karl Pruner as Dyer
David Macniven as Cloud
Paul Bates as Bob
Reagan Pasternak as Mandy
A romantic comedy wrapped in a political satire, Welcome to Mooseport has a few laughs and tears, but never is daring or sweet enough to win over a fan of either genre.
US President Monroe ‘Eagle’ Cole has just completed two terms as the most popular president in our country’s history. However, due to a nasty divorced that has deprived him of his house, he seeks residence at his summer retreat in the town of Mooseport, Maine. Upon his arrival, he learns that the current mayor of Mooseport has passed away and the town seeks Cole to take the newly vacated office. Meanwhile, town good guy and plumber Handy Harrison puts his name in the hat for the office as a favor to a friend. Suddenly, two men who thought they were running unopposed now have to face off for the mayor’s job. Toss in romantic complications between Handy, Cole and town veterinarian Sally and Mooseport is in for quite a media circus.
Welcome to Mooseport is Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements.
There are some funny bits in Mooseport – most notably the scene with the clueless town leaders and Cole’s money-grubbing ex-wife. The relationship between Handy and Sally is also relatable. She has long been ready for a commitment while he has long been waiting for a chance to buy a new truck. The library design joke runs throughout the film and is also worth a chuckle.
What Didn’t Work:
The list is very long. Besides Baranski, there is not one stand out performance here. Romano is playing Ray Barone, without the sarcasm. Hackman, Harden and Torn are sleepwalkers, the latter two with just too little to do and not enough development. The mixed genre really weights the movie down. Just when you think the political satire is going to kick in high gear, the mushy stuff invades it space and vice versa.
The Bottom Line:
I can’t recommend you see Welcome to Mooseport. There is just not enough meat on the bone either way you cook it.