1. Herman Cain
Sure. The Godfather is an amazing movie, but what a hacky choice by Cain. I’m not saying that someone’s goal when saying their favorite movie should be to surprise, but your choice should say something about you. It should be somewhat revealing. This choice just reveals that Herman Cain is really happy he ran a pizza chain that made him super wealthy. Who would have thought?
Now if he had STARTED Godfather’s Pizza that would be different. The money would have in some ways been an effect of his love of The Godfather. But that’s not the case. He was brought in more than ten years after the brand was started. Terrible answer Herman. Terrible answer.
2. Mitt Romney
This is what I’m talking about. The Coen Brothers’ take on Homer’s epic “The Odyssey” set in 1930s south is a great answer. It’s an undeniably great movie, but it’s also surprising that Mitt Romney loves it enough to put it as his favorite. What does that say about him? Well maybe it says that he appreciates levity in the face of economic hardship. Maybe it says that he enjoys the Coen Brothers’ strange view of the world. Hell maybe he just has a crush on George Clooney, but regardless this choice humanizes Mitt more than anything he has ever said in running for office.
3. Rick Santorum
Now this would typically be a good choice. It’s a great movie and definitely not a cliché answer. It says that faith is important to Santorum and that family and Romanticism resonate for him. But the former Senator loses points because he answered the question in Iowa. Now if he had said Field Of Dreams in New Hampshire, he would have gotten a B. But because he preceded his answer with “there are so many” before settling on the Costner classic, this reeks of calculation.
4. Michele Bachmann
Bachmann said that her favorite film was either Braveheart or Saving Private Ryan. This means that Michele Bachmann is secretly the lamest Frat boy you’ll ever meet. Both films are good and even though the choice of Saving Private Ryan reeks of jingoism and political calculation (the film does not, but her choice of it does) either would have been an acceptable answer. But listing both makes me think that maybe she sees herself as some sort of epic hero. Which, in the Congresswoman’s case, is scary.
5. Ron Paul
Ron Paul said that he doesn’t watch many movies. This is a terrible answer. Who doesn’t watch movies? People I don’t trust. That’s who. Paul followed that up by saying that his wife loves musicals like “The Sound Of Music.” Now I know that at the end of the day what movie a candidate likes doesn’t matter. But it wouldn’t hurt the Congressman to be a person.
6. Newt Gingrich
Like Herman Cain, Gingrich gave a very cliché answer. Though he doesn’t get docked points for having owned a pita shop called “Casablanca’s.” So what does the former Speaker see in this classic? Well Gingrich has a degree in History so that probably plays a role. But it’s hard not to think that Paul Henreid’s Victor Laszlo would have been on the other side… Still a boring but good answer gets a boring but good grade.
7. Rick Perry
Grade: WTF? or A+
This is awesome. Rick Perry wins this outright. Immortal Beloved is a Beethoven biopic filled with mystery and amazing dream-like images. It’s by no means a great film, but it’s a good one. A portrait of a man walking the fence between madness and genius. But it’s a wholly original and honest answer. One that doesn’t immediately jibe with the public perception of Perry. Does Perry love it for the mystery associated with Beethoven’s last piece of writing? Does he love it for the music? Does he love it because he sees his marriage in one of the great composer’s relationships? I don’t know. But I’ll be rewatching it soon trying to see what it is the Governor sees in it.