There are people in the world who watch “The West Wing” or “House of Cards” and then turn to their friends and the internet to complain that it’s “not realistic.” These people are annoying and also no fun. If you want a realistic take on politics at the national level, tune in to CSPAN. What I’m trying to say is that if you’re expecting POYKPAC’s new short film “Mr. Student Body President” to be a realistic portrayal of high school student government, you will be disappointed. (Also why would you want that? Your interests are weird.) However, if you’re looking to laugh at one of the sharpest spoofs I’ve seen in ages then you will not be let down.
This film has everything we’ve come to love about over the top political dramas, from Scandal-worthy scheming to Aaron Sorkin’s trademark walk-and-talk scenes. It contains a kidnapping plot, vote obstruction, media manipulation, and blackmail. The fact that all of the action revolves around a high school pep-rally skit is just pure sugar icing on the comedy cake.
The key to success is that everyone is playing it straight and letting the absurdity of the scenario speak for itself. Taking all its familiar cues from prime time political dramas and applying them to high school minutia is a fertile enough premise that there’s no need for winking. As Berenger High president Tyler Prendergast, Nicholas Barasch plays it straight. There’s no nudge to the audience or glances at the camera, instead he plays it straight, with all the intensity of an adolescent Frank Underwood. The effect is endlessly watchable and genuinely hilarious.
I personally lol’d no less than five times during the course of this film. No meager feat when you consider that I am a jaded shell of a person who has seen literally everything the internet has to offer. Familiarity with some of the source material is definitely a bonus, but it holds up well enough on its own. We definitely recommend you click play.