Monroe Cole, Gene Hackman, has just completed his second term as President of the United States, during which he became the first President to divorce the First Lady while still in the White House. Determined not to allow his spiteful ex, Christine Baranski, to swallow up all his assets, Cole moves to the small town of Mooseport, where he has a summer house. He's soon persuaded to stand for Mayor by the local citizenry, and finds himself in opposition to local hardware store operator Handy Harrison, Ray Romano. Since Cole has asked Handy's girlfriend, Sally, Maura Tierney, for a date, there's an element of personal jealousy, all of it wryly observed by Cole's staffers, played by Fred Savage, Rip Torn and Marcia Gay Harden.

This odd little comedy, directed by Donald Petrie, has a reasonably good premise, and tries hard to evoke the world of small-town eccentrics popularised by Preston Sturges in the 40s, but it falls wide of the mark, mainly because most of the characters are so charmless. The pacing is very slow, the action repetitive (two golf games, two political debates), and the jokes are predictable. Gene Hackman looks detached from it all and American TV star Ray Romano makes little impression. Welcome To Mooseport is currently screening nationally.