Political satire Democracy at Work opens like a stale SNL skit. A bespectacled, moderate radio show host is being taunted on air by ratings king DP Dan — that’s “DP” as in “Double Penetration” — and his tattooed, biker gang leader of a boss isn’t happy about it. A nagging liberal and an angry conservative are hired to join the host when a rumor is leaked about Richard “Dick” O’Neal, a current candidate for office in their local 69th district. (Yes, that’s Dick in the 69th — expect dialogue full of overworked sexual puns.) Adding to the media angle, director Wasko Khouri parodies the political circus from the perspective of Dick O’Neal’s frantic campaign staff, who attempt to contain the rumor, and the proverbial undecided voter in the character of a pervy dentist. Democracy at Work bills itself as “a commentary on the absurdity of the system.” In the end, though, this black comedy falls as short on humor as it does on revelations of things we don’t know already. We know that campaigns can take the life of extended, real-life infomercials, that publicists are hired to sell things they wouldn’t even buy themselves, and that the voting public isn’t immune to the promise of personal gain. The bright side: The film is screening for free to those who voted on election night. At least at some point on Nov. 6 people can find themselves on the same page.
Wasko KhouriMichael Scovotti, Matt Jones, Toks Olagundoye, Sean Spence, Meredith Thomas, Bruno Oliver, Ed Refuerzo, Robin Shelby, Marty Lodge, Debbie KagyWasko KhouriSusan Metzger, Sergio CregoIndependent Pictures