Both Barack Obama and John McCain should see Swing Vote. This timely comedy about presidential elections might help them understand how ridiculous pandering to voters during a campaign looks, especially in our age of mass communications gone wild. And I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if they'd get a kick out of Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopperâ€™s humorous performances as two opposing candidates vying for the support of one man after a bizarre set of circ**stances makes his vote the deciding one in the election. Who is this person holding the fate of the nation in his hands? None other than Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), who just happens to be a disheveled, uninformed, beer-drinking slacker. In fact, Budâ€™s only saving grace is his very smart and civically savvy 12-year-old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll). Watching these two for only a few minutes makes it clear the parent/child relationship is reversed in their case. Molly wakes Bud up in the morning, leaves notes reminding him what not to forget during the day and chastises him frequently about his foul language and lack of motivation. Sheâ€™s even gone so far as to register him for the upcoming election and to make him promise heâ€™ll show up to cast his vote. But itâ€™s Molly herself who ends up sneaking into the voting booth when Bud fails to appear at his scheduled time. Unfortunately, something goes wrong with the power, and â€œBudâ€™sâ€ vote is not completed. Of course, Bud canâ€™t expose his daughterâ€™s action, so he becomes the man of the hour. The election is a tie, and he must vote again to decide the winner. And thatâ€™s when the fun begins! Presid ent Andrew Boone (Grammer) and opposition candidate Daniel Greenleaf (Hopper) put all their energies into obtaining Budâ€™s vote. They change their positions as often as Paris Hilton dons fashionable new outfits. Their campaign managers (Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane) kow-tow to Budâ€™s every whim. And the media goes crazy over Bud. Because of so much publicity, Bud receives letters from people all over America asking him to help them. Who answers those letters? Molly, naturally, even though sheâ€™s unhappy with Budâ€™s frivolous reaction to all the attention heâ€™s getting. Despite an emphasis on comedy, Swing Vote uses its political backdrop to explore a troubled father/daughter relationship. Fortunately, Costner (Mr. Brooks) and Carroll (the White Queen in Resident Evil: Extinction) deliver amazing performances as Bud and Molly here. Both actors manage to show how much their characters care for each other, no matter how often they argue. Itâ€™s amusing to watch so many of their combative conversations end with each one saying, â€œFine!â€ Itâ€™s also a treat to see the changes in Costnerâ€™s â€œBudâ€ as he begins to realize the seriousness of his situation. But the biggest â€œwowâ€ factor in Swing Vote involves Madeline Carrollâ€™s impressive screen presence. Sheâ€™s a power to be reckoned with, so watch your backs, Abigail Breslin and Dakota Fanning! Also, lovely Paula Patton, playing a sensitive TV reporter who admires Molly, reinforces the star potential she displayed in DÃ©jÃ vu. My only criticism of this film relates to a totally depressing scene in which Molly visits her drug addict mother (the usually wonderful Mare Winningham). It seems to belong in another movie entirely. Besides being entertaining, Swing Vote reminds us of how important it is to carry out both our personal and civic responsibilitie s. The timing of the film's release couldnâ€™t be better, for many viewers are now trying to decide not only whether or not to vote in the upcoming 2008 presidential election -- but also which candidate deserves their support.