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Jack Black was meant to play this role. The odd, yet gentle charisma of the character wouldn't have been better played by anyone else. With an underdog story with a twist, I was shocked to find that the interviews were of the real townsfolk from the time of the event, making their testimonies that much more convincing. It's a feel good movie, which isn't something you would expect from the source material. But I loved Bernie just as much as Carthage does.
Is this the Talladega Nights of politics? Of course it is. Which means that it tries too hard for the quick laughs that rely on the crude humor that one would find in a high school gym class. Does Galifianakis offer any redemption? Not nearly as much as he could. The pugs are the only highlight of the film, and this is coming from someone who doesn't even like dogs.