Wade on Birmingham

Sidewalk 2009: Bungle fever


Movie review: ‘Courting Condi’

By Jennifer West

Review at a glance: A “love story” in the guise of a documentary, “Courting Condi” would’ve better been served by ditching the faux-mance and focusing on its true object of desire, Condoleezza Rice.

Courting Condi

A scene from the documentary “Courting Condi.”

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalIt’s a love story, about a simple nobody and the Secretary of State originally from Birmingham. The quirky documentary “Courting Condi”  traces the journey of a man in his 20s to meet the woman of his dreams, Condoleezza Rice.

Or so the trailer would have you believe.

The film screens Sept. 26 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

Viewers will quickly figure out this film is actually about Rice herself, a k a Condi. Our lovestruck hero turns out to be completely fictional, a framing device to move the documentary forward.

But it doesn’t work, serving to distract from the film’s true message. And the musical interludes? Really bad and frustrating to sit through.

[Editor’s note: Perhaps this column is the basis for the original idea.]

The movie takes us through the life of a controversial political figure from birth through the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to 2009. And it reminds us of Rice’s role in the George W. Bush administration, throwing in some lesser-known nuggets of intel.

This one is a hard call. If director Sebastian Doggart had cut a few of the silly bits woven throughout the “real” documentary, “Courting Condi” might have been a really great movie.

Jennifer WestJennifer West (@juniperlou) won the Sidewalk Audience Choice award for her romantic comedy “Piece of Cake” in 2006, which she wrote and directed. She’s working on a feature-length screenplay and blogging about it on JuniperLou.

“Courting Condi” will screen at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Trailer: “Courting Condi”

How to woo a Secretary of State


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