THE TOWN ISN’T SMALL ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF THEM.
Ex-president Monroe “Eagle” Cole (Gene Hackman) moves to a small town and agrees to run for mayor; his opponent is an affable plumber (Ray Romano) with commitment issues. That sounds just like Romano’s character on Everybody Loves Raymond, and he does indeed play the plumber the same way. Romano is predictable but charming and Hackman is very believable as the smug “Eagle”. The filmmakers are hoping for that old Frank Capra touch (with Romano as Jimmy Stewart), but their unpretentious comedy would never have been this likable without these actors; they do the heavy lifting.
2004-U.S. 110 min. Color. Directed by Donald Petrie. Cast: Gene Hackman (Monroe “Eagle” Cole), Ray Romano (Harold “Handy” Harrison), Marcia Gay Harden (Grace Sutherland), Maura Tierney, Christine Baranski, Fred Savage… Rip Torn, June Squibb. Cameo: Edward Herrmann.
Trivia: Dustin Hoffman was allegedly first cast as Monroe Cole.