The filmmakers use real footage of Couric and then cut in Julianne Moore's fake Palin. Other reviews note that Steve Schmidt's actual Palin-trashing, "Game Change" book-promoting interview on "60 Minutes" is the exclamation point at the end of the film. HBO is merging their leftist "docudrama" with real liberal-bias "news" clips to leave one unmissable point: Never vote for Sarah Palin. Ever. For anything.
The last HBO docudrama from this team of director Jay Roach and screenwriter Danny Strong was "Recount," which made heroes out of Al Gore's aides and lawyers in 2000 as they tried to change the Florida election results. One reviewer summed it up as "a screechy example of liberal Hollywood condescension," and "the film's flair for exaggeration is as flabbergasting as it is embarrassing."
It should be safe to assume that HBO launched this hatchet job into production with the notion that Palin was going to run for president. (She's still hinting that she'd love to be picked if the GOP has a brokered convention.) This whole enterprise reeks like a super PAC ad, complete with a pile of Obama-supporting actors and an Obama-bundler as executive producer--Tom Hanks.
The film is called "Game Change," after the book with the same title. But in the actual book, when does Sarah Palin really appear? In Chapter 20, titled "Sarahcuda," on page 353. When the book came out in early 2010, the hottest backstage tidbits were about Obama. Harry Reid praised Barack Obama's political appeal as a "light-skinned" black man with "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Ted Kennedy was furious at Bill Clinton after Clinton sneered that Obama was so inexperienced that "a few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee." But HBO had no interest in hiring actors to smear Obama or Reid or Clinton. How about the relationship of John and Elizabeth Edwards, which is clearly ripe for cinematic exploration/exploitation? HBO ignored how Edwards staffers told the authors that Mrs. Edwards made them feel like "battered spouses." In brief, the authors wrote: "What the world saw in Elizabeth: a valiant, determined, heroic everywoman. What the Edwards insiders saw: an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazy woman."
But HBO wants to paint the Democrats as the valiant heroes and paint the Republicans as the paranoid crazy women. Nobody needs to wait until March to wonder whether HBO is ridiculous when it puts out a statement calling this movie "a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign."