1. Alert the nation to the urgent need to address global warming.I think what I would have liked is a movie whose purpose is #1 that I could enthusiastically recommend to people I know who lean Republican (granted, being an academic who cavorts mostly with academics, I can't pretend this number is large). My belief, perhaps touchingly naive, is that the facts on the matter are so plain that many people who lean Republican could be convinced that this is an issue that deserves bipartisan cooperation.
2. Alert the nation to the urgent need to elect Democrats.
3. Alert the nation to the urgent need to elect Al Gore as president, or at least to recognize that his not being elected in 2000 is something about which we should all be sad.
But, of course, the facts are so plain that maybe this could become like stem cells and be a wedge issue that you might win swing voters with. For that purpose (#2/#3), it pays to keep the issue polarized and do everything to entrench Republicans in their past positions so that they look more like they are reality-deniers to swing voters. Combining an issue for which Democrats have reality on their side with a campaign informercial probably works well for this purpose, or at least would work well if the informercial aspects of the film were not as transparently manipulative as the ones in this film. I mean, it's in the narrow interest of Democrats-qua-Democrats to keep Republicans opposed to action on global warming, and it's in the interest of the narrow interest of those-freaked-out-by-global-warming-qua-those-freaked-out-by-global-warming to influence the Republican party's stance.
There is a scene about two-thirds through with Al Gore having a cel phone conversation on his cel phone that literally had me laughing because it was so painfully staged to present Al Gore, Man Of Action. In this respect, it reminded me a lot of his campaign, where you got the sense that Gore's efforts to connect with "regular folks" ends up still missing those folks and seeming false to everyone else.
All that said, a couple times during the film I found myself wondering if I was going to cry for all that was lost with the 2000 election. No actual tears formed, much less fell, but it was kinda close.
And again, the film is well worth seeing for the parts that are actually about global warming.