Just watched the blu-ray. I have to say I’m a little baffled that Malcolm Tucker is the only character that carried over completely from the show - the rest of them are just renamed versions of their TV characters. Strange.
Jerri, it seems to me that Iannucci has such a distinct style that he wanted to work with some familiar actors who were already accustomed to it. But I think one of the wonderful things about In the Loop is how he also managed to get a great cast of new American actors, especially Mimi Kennedy and James Gandolfini. I also really liked Anna Chlumsky and the guy who played the assistant secretary of state, Linton (David Rasche).
As for not being able to carry over the actual characters from Thick of It, that’s because they’re from a very different part of the British government. The characters from Thick of It are from some piddling domestic affair ministry that no one cares about. But the characters from In the Loop are from a foreign development ministry, which is a prominent part of the plot. Since Malcolm Tucker is the Prime Minister’s representative, he’s the only one who can be carried over intact.
On another note, a question for someone who knows more about British government than I do (that would be pretty much anyone): What was the deal with Foster being sent out to do constituent service? He’s the Minister for International Development. Do cabinet ministers in GB have geographic constituencies the way members of Congress do here? Or was that whole thing a contrivance?
Yes, they do. You’re elected MP in a specific geographic area. Gordon Brown is Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, for example (PMs and party leaders usually stand in a party stronghold). He’s also a Cabinet Minister, which means he’s in charge of a certain government department and part of the Cabinet. As such that group essentially make all the important decisions.
They all have to do constituency work but Cabinet work takes priority so some ministers perform little work in their constituency. Anything Ianucci or his writers put in the script about government and the way it works will be more-or-less factual. Chap does his research.
This film just keeps on giving, as a parody it is hilarious. I was told Alistair Campell, Tony Blair’s right hand man parodied as Malcolm Tucker, was REALLY that foul mouthed. I also spotted Paul Wolfowitz (actually you can’t miss him) and Clare Short, but I don’t know who Karen Clarke is supposed to be.
I thought the tone at the end is just right. After giving for more than an hour it sobered up, because going to war is nasty business.
Finally watched this, going in stone cold, and wow. Had to rewind it several times because I was laughing so hard, which hasn’t happened since Arrested Development was on.
It has the same things going for it that made the British version of The Office so brilliant. Especially the fact that when the characters say something fucked up or insult somebody it’s not treated as a punchline followed by a cut to another scene. Instead, you generally get to see them squirm as they are skewered.
If I had one problem with it, it’s that everyone is a genius at wordplay and insults, and it becomes a bit one-note after a while, with every major character managing to one-up everyone else in a similar biting style. It would have been nice if it held a little more tonal distance between the characters.