A 1996 dark-comedy films starring Jack Lemmon
and James Garner
as two politically (and personally) opposed former-Presidents who are forced to go on the run together after they find themselves on the receiving end of a conspiracy to hide the current President having taken a kickback.
The film provides examples of:
- Accidental Kidnapping: When Kramer and Douglas plan on stealing Wayne and Genny's car to continue on their trip to Kramer's Library, they only turn back when they see a child in the backseat.
- The couple then gives them a ride, saying all they had to do was ask. It only comes out later when the two act like a pair of jerkasses that the family is homeless and desperate for work.
- Actor Allusion: James Garner's character, Matt Douglas rides expertly. James Garner's career began primarily in Westerns.
- Appeal to Force: At one point, the fugitive ex-Presidents hitch a ride with some illegal aliens being smuggled across the border. They're discovered by both the INS (in ordinary police helicopters) and the Government Conspiracy (in military attack helicopters) at the same time. There's some Jurisdiction Friction between the two groups, which a conspiracy chopper deftly solves by firing a missile across the INS's nose.
- Camp Gay / Straight Gay: Secret Service Sniper Ralph Flemming manages to be BOTH. Basically he plays it up in a pride parade.
- I Call Him "Mister Happy": Blinky, The First Penis.
- Indy Ploy: "What am I, fuckin MacGyver? I'm makin this up as I go."
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Douglas is clearly modeled on Bill Clinton whereas Kramer is clearly modeled on George HW Bush.
- Not So Different: The point of the movie is that if Douglas and Kramer hadn't spent so much time trying to politically destroy each other, they might have been friends.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Matthews. Though still not the brightest bulb, he's nowhere near as moronic as his public persona.
- Precision F-Strike: Downplayed. The movie's one use of the F Word goes by so quickly that if you're not paying attention you might miss it.
- Also discussed. "If you're gonna use the F-word, go for the gold."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Douglas and Kramer, respectively.
- Title Drop: See above.
- Torture Always Works: Twisted and double subverted. He never gets tortured, he cracks under the threat, which fulfills the same purpose. However there never was any torture, he wasn't about to be dosed up with drugs, the needle he felt was simply a sewing needle.
- Vice President Who: Matthews is really dumb (a No Celebrities Were Harmed mock version of Dan Quayle). This turns out to be partly Obfuscating Stupidity, as he is essentially the Big Bad.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: By the end of the film. See Not So Different.
- What Could Have Been: This was supposed to be another entry in the revived Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau series of comedies that Grumpy Old Men revived. Matthau bowed out due to illness.