Written and directed by Alexander Payne, ‘Election’ is a dark comedy adapted from American author Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same title, which was published in 1998. The film follows Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister, a popular high school social studies teacher who during the school’s student body election tries to stop a candidate named Tracy Enid Flick, essayed by Reese Witherspoon, because he believes that she is not the right person to hold the title of the class president. The film is truly a work of art which utilizes the genre of black comedy to comment on the subject of school politics. Though it was a box office bomb, ‘Election’ received highly positive reviews from critics.
For this article, I have taken into account films that explore the genres of black comedy and political satire, and share stylistic or thematic similarities to this Alexander Payne classic. So, without further ado, here is the list of best movies similar to ‘Election’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘Election’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. The Interview (2013)
This film, as Seth Rogen said, “nearly started a war”. ‘The Interview’ is an stunningly bold piece of work. It follows Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapaport who are famed for airing the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight”. While they are usually mocked by their cohorts for their unimportant journalism, their life seems to turn 180 degrees when a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, contacts them for giving an exclusive interview. However, things quickly turn tense when the CIA intervenes and forcefully recruits them to assassinate the tyrant leader. Co-directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and written by Dan Sterling, ‘The Interview’ was banned for its political overtones.
9. The Campaign (2012)
Directed by Jay Roach and co-written by Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell, ‘The Campaign’ is the story of Camden “Cam” Brady, an incumbent Representative who gets entangled in a personal scandal and is forced to confront his challenges which are brought forth by Martin Sylvester “Marty” Huggins, a naive newcomer who is funded by two unscrupulous billionaire lobbyist brothers. The film stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as the two leads, along with with John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd. ‘The Campaign’ is quite reminiscent of the comedic structure in Adam McKay’s ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’ (2004), which is quite obvious given the fact McKay produced the film. The film explores a variety of themes such as the American electoral process and the corporate hunger for money. It was released on August 12, 2012, but wasn’t a huge financial success, grossing $104.9 million against a budget of $95 million.