Friday, May 29, 2020

Review: Raising Buchanan

Release date: April 12, 2019 (U.S. Digital May 5, 2020)
Running time: 96 minutes
Starring: Rene Auberjonois, Amanda Melby, Cathy Shim

Ruth (Melby) has fallen on hard times.  Her dad is sick, she is behind in her payments, and she has to do community service that she hates.  However, when the body of a former president falls into her lap, she decides that the way out of her troubles is to steal the corpse of former US president James Buchanan, hoping to net a large ransom.  However, complications with her plan arise when it seems that no one is particularly interested in getting him back.

Raising Buchanan has a quirky style that it uses to full effect.  Melby is fantastic as Ruth, with a dry sense of humor and a charm that is evident throughout the film.  The movie has a strange premise, but it is one that is very entertaining once it gets going.  Ruth and her best friend Meg (Shim), attempt to ransom off the former President's body, but their ineptitude is evident throughout this endeavor.  It is fun to see them make the most basic of mistakes and the level of incompetence on their part forms a part of the humor of this movie.  And one of the fun surprises of this film is that after Ruth steals Buchanan's body, his ghost follows her around and discusses the finer points of his life and her current predicament.  Buchanan (Auberjonois) is very enjoyable, with funny insights into Ruth's actions as well as tidbits of knowledge about the president's life.  The whole premise is ludicrous but it works surprisingly well

Raising Buchanan's story is surprisingly entertaining.  The amount of ire that the world has for Buchanan is a constant point of humor.  In fact, the film itself has a wonderful, dry, light-hearted comedy that will have you laughing out loud at times.  Despite the theoretical gravity of what they are doing (stealing a body and auctioning it off), the film never strays into too serious a territory.  And the story, although ridiculous, has enough twists and turns as the inept criminals attempt to ransom off a corpse that no one wants that it keeps the film entertaining.  And another surprising side effect of this movie is that you will learn a little history along the way!

Raising Buchanan's dry sense of humor, wonderful cast, and quirky premise will steal your heart as you enjoy this presidential crime caper.

Watch it.

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