YMMV / Election

  • Adaptation Displacement: There was a book?
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Tracy Flick a ruthless evil politician and Femme Fatale in the making? Is she just an ambitious teenager manipulated by her mother, abused by a teacher, and sabotaged by another teacher (who might lust after her too, if some of the sex scenes are any indication)? Or is she a Jerkass Woobie who has no one to guide her in anything but becoming a Manipulative Bastard Chessmaster and may never realise she doesn't have to be Lonely at the Top?
      • The original ending (one taken from the book) took the stance that she was indeed the latter.
    • Is Jim McAllister simply a member of the Noble Profession whose entire life was destroyed by Tracy? Or someone who couldn't admit to himself that his marriage was falling apart, and took all his life's frustrations out by sabotaging the election of a student he had resentment (and Foe Yay, or No Yay) against? It was a student election, losing it would hardly stop her from moving up in the world as he told himself it would.
      • Mr McAllister also seems to exaggerate Tracy's Fille Fatale qualities to justify his friend's seriously unethical and immoral behavior, despite the fact there's no indication Tracy was anything like that before her affair with Dave.
    • Mr McAllister sees Dave as a harmless Manchild despite the fact he had sex with an underage student of his. In addition to Dave being married, having sex with a student is a huge professional and ethical breach even when the student is of age, due to the power differential. In Tracy's flashback to how her affair with him started he definitely seemed to be singling her out and knowing which buttons to push. His insistence that they were in love could be more about justifying it to himself then anything else or even getting out of jail time by pretending to be the harmless Manchild Mr McAllister thinks he is, who did something stupid rather than a predator who knew what he was doing was illegal and wrong but did it anyway. If he is so dimwitted that he doesn't know why he shouldn't have a relationship with one of his own students, he definitely shouldn't be a teacher.
    • At the end of the film, McAllister takes a dislike to a prepubescent girl visiting the museum because she asks a lot of questions. It's hard to come up with a justification for that beyond "this man has some massive damage, particularly around girls and women, and probably shouldn't be working with children of any age".
  • Award Snub: A number of people believe that Reese Witherspoon's performance should have been nominated for an Oscar.
  • Crazy Awesome: Tammy.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Liberal usage of the theme to Navajo Joe by Ennio Morricone.
    • Taxiride's "Get Set" also certainly counts.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Paul's pre-election day prayer? That his sister, Tammy, will be okay. He doesn't even care about the election, and deep down he doesn't really believe Tammy tore down his posters. "Please help her be a happier person, because she's so smart and sensitive, and I love her so much."
  • Foe Yay / No Yay: Mr. McAllister ends up having sexual fantasies about Tracy, despite the fact he hates her with a passion.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: During the 2016 US Presidential election, many political and pop culture writers noted that the film could easily be read as a Roman Clef of the real-life events of that election, despite having been written almost twenty years prior and largely based on the 1992 election. To wit...
    • Tracy Flick can be read as a stand-in for Hillary Rodham Clinton, as an overachieving, blonde-haired female candidate who is both the most obviously qualified for the job and seems to be running more for her own sake than that of the school — reflecting the most widely-cited strengths and weaknesses of Clinton's campaign to an almost uncanny degree. Tracy's campaign slogan of "you won't just be voting for me, you'll be voting for yourself" even carries many of the same sentiments of Clinton's more concise "I'm With Her". When Reese Witherspoon was asked if she'd ever play Clinton in a movie, she replied that she already had — in Election.
    • Elements of Donald Trump, meanwhile, can be read into both Paul and Tammy Metzler. Paul is a comically unprepared candidate who trades on his glories as a football hero to win over the crowd (much as Trump used his past as a celebrity business mogul), while Tammy is a bomb-throwing outsider whose campaign is built entirely around outrageous, attention-grabbing statements meant to express her and her classmates' disillusionment with the entire system.
    • And finally, Mr. McAllister can debatably be seen as a stand-in for Vladimir Putin. He rigs the election out of pure spite for Tracy, switching two votes from her to Paul. Putin's government, meanwhile, has been accused of meddling in the 2016 election in favor of Trump, with alleged acts ranging from spreading propaganda to going so far as to hack into voting machines in key swing states.
  • Prima Donna Director: [1] to the point of verbally abusing a female production coordinator? Some say.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Nicholas D'Agosto played Larry Fouch, the kid who initially tallies the Student Council votes and who spits at Mc Allister's car in the epilogue. He'd go on to have a prominent role in Showtime's series Masters of Sex.
  • Vindicated by History: The film was overshadowed by American Pie at the box office, but TV airings and DVD sales (not to mention glowing critic reviews) helped it to build its reputation.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Election