We review two biographical films about the Democratic candidate

By Bruce Fretts
Updated September 01, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Al Gore must have a kick-ass agent. The VP starred in not one but two short films at the Democratic Convention. The first came from director-producer Sarah Callahan, who works in the ad industry. The more avant-garde offering was directed by Spike Jonze, the hipster auteur behind Being John Malkovich, one of Gore’s fave flicks. EW critic Bruce Fretts weighs in.

You’ve heard of The Tigger Movie? Here’s The Tipper Movie. The First Lady wannabe sappily narrates this series of still photos (I think they’re stills; with Al, it can be hard to tell). It’s like a summer-vacation slide show — only it’s their whole lives. Her commentary feels a bit too intimate at times (”He had the most intense and beautiful blue eyes” — eww!) and isn’t always in synch with the images: She describes the fun they had in the ’60s riding Al’s motorcycle … over a shot of him on a tractor. Al wins points for letting us see a humiliating photo of his feathered hair (as a Woodward-and-Bernstein-era journalist). But the overly staged film does little to chip away at his wooden rep. C+

Using a handheld camera and fragmented editing, Jonze captures a politician who’s almost — we swear — relaxed and charmingly oddball. At home, the VP points out a self-portrait painted by Tipper, in which she’s pregnant and topless. (Somebody call decency watchdog Joe Lieberman!) Later, Al exposes his nipples in a bodysurfing scene. We get more skin when Tipper walks around Air Force Two shoeless. Quips Gore: ”It’s actually very hard to be stiff when your wife is going barefoot. It just completely messes up my image.” And that can be a good thing. After seeing this video, we finally have a better idea what it’s like to be inside the Veep’s head — call it Being Al Gore. B+