Generic Tale of Innocence Lost in Choose Connor


Pimply Owen Norris (Alex Linz) thinks his life is about to begin when he lands a summer job as the youth campaign spokesman for Senator Connor (Steven Weber). It’s not difficult to guess where this is going: The idealistic 15-year-old gets sick after his debut political soiree, foreshadowing the wretchedness in store for him. At least writer/director Luke Eberl grants Choose Connor a little texture by weaving in some unexpected details with the generic clichés. Our possibly closeted teenage protagonist becomes fast friends with the congressman’s gay nephew (Escher Holloway), and the developing relationship plays out with an awkward sweetness at odds with the otherwise grimy proceedings. The narrative also (inadvertently!) parallels the current campaign season, as Senator Connor jumps in to answer on Owen’s behalf during his first photo-op—calling to mind John McCain’s damage-control chaperoning of Sarah Palin. But for all the potential of this coming-of-age/political-awakening tale, Choose Connor undoes itself with an egregiously sordid turn. Aren’t politics depraved enough without the filmmaker resorting to a sex scandal that rivals that of the Catholic Church? Like this election cycle, the movie leaves you cynical and weary. We’ve seen it all before.