Review by Caitlin Ziegler
Michael Lawson (David Corenswet) wants to get ahead in politics by starting at the very bottom. He finds a way to work for Senator John Boland Baines (David James Elliott), through blackmail, with the help of his roommate/friend Callie Roland (Thora Birch). Senator Baines right hand man, Rob Reynolds (Adrian Grenier), puts Michael to work and is impressed with him trying to get ahead through blackmail. Rob is so impressed that he asks Michael to ask Callie to take a job getting dirt on other candidates and their associates. Callie goes along with it because she loves exposing people and getting paid for it, even though she doesn’t agree with their political stance.
Problems arise with the other way Michael got his job, in that he slept with an important woman, who could introduce him to Rob. Mary Maples (Faye Grant) is campaigning hard for Senator Baines’ Presidential election bid and she’s who Michael got with. The problem is that she told people and Mrs. Judith Baines (Mimi Rogers) asked about it and wanted the same treatment. When Michael tried to end things with Judith, she threatened him. To make matters worse, Senator Baines daughter, Darcy (Grace Victoria Cox), just returned to the family home and she and Michael begin a relationship.
Michael doesn’t want to quit while he’s ahead because he thinks this is his best possible chance to get into Congress. What he doesn’t know is the true cost of politics and how far Rob is willing to go to make sure nothing happens to Senator Baines or his chance to become President.
Besides Michael being too stupid to realize he’s in too deep, this movie is a pretty good film. It’s pacing, acting and plot are all good. It makes you think about how far someone is willing to go for their chance at what they want and how much further someone else is willing to go to destroy that. It’s less politics and more at home drama in this film and there are things that you know people couldn’t get away with, but it’s still worth a watch. Michael sleeping with older women to get ahead, while falling in love with someone his own age was a little disturbing. It’s because everyone kept bringing up if he was sleeping with Mary or Judith. If everyone else heard those whispers, I felt like Michael should have known better to watch out.
AFFAIRS OF STATE, coming to select theaters and On Demand Friday, June 15 from Lionsgate.