Notebook Reviews: PRIMARY COLORS

3 out of 5 stars

Mike Nichols – 1998.

The great Mike Nichols delivers an interesting political satire in the shape of Primary Colors. The film features an excellent cast and John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates all dive head-first into their performances and nail the film’s snarky tone. Travolta in particular goes for broke as the a a pseudo-Bill Clinton. The book on which the film is based was inspired by Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992. 

The main problem with Primary Colors is that the story is almost too big to fit into one movie (even if it is over 2 hours long). A tonal shift at the midway point also throws the drive off-kilter, but it’s not enough to derail the movie. 

It’s possibly not as good as it could have been, but Primary Colors manages to push the right buttons so that it’s worth your time.