Sarah Palin Hits Back At HBO's "Game Change"

HBO Films' Game Change trailer:

Personally, I think that the HBO film looks excruciatingly interesting.

Over at POLITICO, Peter Gavin got an early screening of the film and posted a great write-up:
But is the film any good? Most definitely. Over its two hours, “Game Change” both provides enough “OMG I KNOW THAT GUY!” inside baseball moments to whet the appetite of, say, your average POLITICO reader (see: “This is my husband, Mark Wallace”) while also doing its job as entertainment in providing a compelling narrative that can be nail-biting at times — despite the fact that you already know the ending.


Perhaps the most notable takeaway is the star power Schmidt will enjoy coming out of this movie. His sympathetic portrayal by Harrelson not only steals the movie but also paints Schmidt as the moral conscience of a campaign trying desperately to avoid the uneasy temptations of modern day campaigning. Once dubbed by TIME as “the lord of outrage,” Schmidt emerges with a shiny — sweet, even — new hue. Palin herself has routinely poked fun of his chain-smoking, foul mouth and “rotund physique,” but the Schmidt on camera is cigarette-free and sports only a modest paunch (the swear words as still aplenty).

As for the film’s politics, if any, it plays closely to the idea (ever popular nowadays…) that American politics have been co-opted by the extremes. At the film’s conclusion, McCain tells Palin: “You’re one of the leaders of the party now, Sarah. Don’t get co-opted by Limbaugh and the other extremists. They’ll destroy the party if you let them.”
Perhaps not-so-surprisingly, Sarah Palin is none-too-happy about the film. SarahPAC hits back with something of their own:

Ironic, as the the film appears to be fairly even-handed with regard to the former Governor of Alaska. Again, Gavin:
Much of the early chatter surrounding the movie has concerned how Palin (Julianne Moore) is portrayed, with the conventional wisdom holding that it paints an unflattering portrait of the former Alaska governor. Palin does indeed come off as a flawed candidate in the film, with advisers questioning her mental stability. She’s reluctant to heed advice to prepare for debates and to put the good of the ticket over her own personal desires and ambitions. The Palin character comes across as woefully unprepared for the national stage and fails to understand the basics of such topics as the Federal Reserve, the British monarchy, World War II, North & South Korea and who attacked the United States on Sept. 11. Flattering or not, HBO says it’s simply the truth. As POLITICO reported Wednesday, HBO has released a letter to reporters reviewing the film that defends the network’s portrayal as “balanced.”

It’s not all bad news for Palin, however. In other moments, the film shows a Palin that flies in the face of some negative caricatures. She is a devoted, loving and attentive mother to — and defender of — her family, and her relationship with her husband, Todd (David Barry Gray), is consistently strong. “I love you, first dude,” Palin tells her husband in bed. “I love you too, Mrs. Vice President,” he says in return. Throughout the movie, Palin struggles with the kind of issues most anyone would find difficult: Personal appearances, the harsh glare of the national media spotlight, and the powerful allure of professional success.


Will Palin fans like it? As noted above, they’ll cringe at times, but there actually are some moments that will please them. There are plenty of references to her star power and to her similarities to Ronald Reagan. Palin is portrayed as a politician unwilling to yield her own core values and policy positions. And the very things that frustrate her advisors on the McCain campaign are also some of the very things that engender Palin to her supporters: A reluctance to play the Washington game, her loyalty to Alaska, an independent streak and a folksy approach to politics.
I don't get HBO, but I will actively seek out Game Change. Hopefully, the next time that DirecTV gives me a 'free HBO' weekend, they will be re-running this movie.

That'd be sweet.