Hollywood Encourages Voter Registration With… Sarcasm?

This political cycle has seen an incredibly innovative use of online video, but they can’t all be winners. The latest Get Out the Vote initiative is a viral video produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way and literally jam-packed with famous faces. But even though at least 10 Academy Awards have been won by those participating — well, most of them were won by Dustin Hoffman — the ad is still a major misfire.

What’s wrong here? Where do I start?

  • Tonally, it’s incredibly smug. I mean, sarcasm from Hollywood celebrities? Really? That seemed like a good idea? REALLY? I mean, for five minutes? REALLY? (This sarcasm is intentional, for the record.)
  • Seth Rogan Jonah Hill and Sarah Silverman are the only ones who are actually funny.
  • Tobey Maguire looks like he’s moments away from crying.
  • Benicio Del Toro looks like the War on Drugs is being waged inside his liver at that very second.
  • The smugness quotient gets ramped up to a new plane of patronizing when we spend about thirty seconds being reminded that you have to register in order to vote. Leave us alone, Laura Linney! Leonardo DiCaprio just got done bugging us about this! God!
  • Oh, by the way, Leonardo DiCaprio does not have a watch (or a cell phone). Because HE IS TOO IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS.
  • So if I send this to five of my friends, and they each send it to five of their friends, and then they send it to five of their friends… Oh, so THAT’S how viral video works? Thanks famous people!
  • And then the video’s stunning conclusion: Dustin Hoffman hits on Julie the 2nd AD while the crew laughs. To be fair, Julie is wearing a halter top on a film set. But still.

I feel passionately that voting is an important thing to do — it gives the average citizen a voice, and serves as a helpful reminder that we are all complicit in our government’s actions. So, my humble suggestion: send this link to your unregistered American friends. Not this video.


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