Political campaigns are all about choosing the right strategy.
That's where political strategist "Calamity" Jane Bodine comes in. Jane is hired to help Bolivian Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo win the election even though he is a considerable underdog.
Unfortunately, Castillo is not the most likable candidate in the public eye, forcing Jane to get creative with her strategy. She realizes the best way to promote him is to push fear that the country is in a crisis and that a strong, experienced leader is who they need to bring them out of it.
Sandra Bullock is excellent as Jane, bringing in just the right mix of light-hearted comedy and serious moments. Jane comes with plenty of baggage, but Bullock has you rooting for her throughout.
Of course, the story wouldn't work without serious competition, and Billy Bob Thorton's Pat Candy fits the bill of Jane's arch-nemesis whom she has never beaten. The rivalry between the two provides much of the film's humor.
Conflict arises when some of Jane's methods are called into question, and there is debate over whether or not to run negative ads. The film hits home the theme of just how far one may be willing to go to win.
The cinematography and the scenery were beautiful, and there were some funny moments dealing with altitude sickness affecting people who are not used to it. The character of Eddie brought the perspective of a poor, local citizen and his relationship with Jane added some intense and emotional scenes.
While the cast is excellent and the plot is interesting, some of the writing and humor fall flat. The story could have been more compelling, and the ending could have been stronger and left much to be desired. It is still enjoyable and Sandra Bullock alone makes it worth watching, but it may be better suited for rental.