* DesignatedVillain: Farber the critic. We're supposed to dislike him, because what kind of person would be so arrogant as to presume the intention of another human being? Except that he ''didn't''. [[spoiler:When Cleveland asked him about who he should look for to fill the various roles, he expressed it as a hypothetical question and Farber only gave qualities he'd expect the person to have. Cleveland was the one who actually chose the people.]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** The critic, whom many viewers consider the only likeable character in the whole movie. It's quite ironic, given the effort to make him [[{{Jerkass}} an unlikable jerk]].
** Also Story, but that's mainly because she's played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who was also a bright spot on M. Night's previous film, ''The Village''.
* FauxSymbolism
* HilariousInHindsight: Vick's ''Cookbook'' is supposed to inspire a Midwesterner with prodigious oratorical gifts to become President of the United States. Two years and change later, [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama guess who was elected to the presidency from relative obscurity in Illinois]]?
* HypeBacklash: One of the reasons the film fared so poorly was the audience getting tired with Shyamalan's formulas and {{Mandatory Twist Ending}}s. The other was trying ''way'' too hard to [[TooDumbToLive agitate film critics]]. The film was considered as the point when Shyamalan's career hit the bottom... until he made Film/TheHappening. And Film/TheLastAirbender.
* PuritySue: Vick.
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