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Welcome to Mooseport

Welcome to Mooseport
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Donald Petrie
Produced by Moritz Borman
Written by Doug Richardson
Tom Schulman
Starring Ray Romano
Gene Hackman
Marcia Gay Harden
Maura Tierney
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Victor Hammer
Edited by Debra Neil-Fisher
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
February 20, 2004 (2004-02-20)
Running time
110 minutes
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $14,615,099[1]

Welcome to Mooseport is a 2004 American comedy film directed by Donald Petrie and starring Ray Romano, in his first full-length live-action film, and Gene Hackman. It was filmed in Jackson's Point, Ontario and Port Perry, Ontario. It is Hackman's final film appearance to date.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
    • Critical response 3.1
    • Box office 3.2
    • Easter eggs 3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Monroe "Eagle" Cole (Gene Hackman) is a former President of the United States who retires to his vacation home in the town of Mooseport, Maine to escape the clutches of ex-wife Charlotte Cole (Christine Baranski). Harold "Handy" Harrison (Ray Romano) is the local plumber of Mooseport, who also owns a hardware store.

Following the death of the town mayor, the town council decides to approach former president Cole about running for the office. Cole agrees because, as it turns out, if he holds the office, his Mooseport house can serve as his office and, therefore, can no longer be divided up or sold off in his divorce settlement. Unbeknownst to Harrison, his name has also been entered into the race. When Harrison finds out Cole is running, he decides to step down, until he notices an unwitting Cole make a pass at Harrison's girlfriend of six years, veterinarian Dr. Sally Mannis (Maura Tierney), who recently broke up with him because he was taking the relationship too slow and had not yet proposed marriage to her. Handy believes that, by becoming mayor, he can show Sally he is a responsible decision maker and win her back.

Tensions rise following the arrival of ex-wife and Cole campaign spoiler Charlotte. Cole's team, led by long-time executive secretary and eventual love interest Grace Sutherland (Marcia Gay Harden) and presidential aide Will Bullard (Fred Savage), bring in the big guns in the form of campaign strategist Bert Langdon (Rip Torn), who becomes Cole's campaign manager as he complains of a boring life since Cole retired from the presidency. As the campaigns progress, Cole and Harrison each become obsessed with winning the race at all (comedic) costs, although Harrison refuses to resort to any dirty tricks, making Cole realize that in all his years of running for elections this may be his toughest as he is taking on an honest man.

Eventually, on the night before the election, both candidates (for different reasons - Cole is trying to get sympathy votes, Harrison just wants to end all of this and is confident Cole would be a good mayor) urge the voters to vote for the other candidate by saying that neither of them will vote for themselves. Harrison fulfills his promise, but Cole votes for himself anyway. Upon the revelation that Cole won by one vote, his conscience gets the better of him and he concedes the match to Harrison. However, Harrison lies that he voted for himself as well, and declines office, so Cole ends up as mayor once again. Harrison then reveals to Sally that he conceded the election because Cole needs the mayorship more than he does and that all he really wanted was to propose marriage to her, which he does. As Handy is proposing to Sally, Monroe also proposes to Grace. The film ends with Bert Langdon telling Handy that he ran an excellent campaign and offers to be his campaign manager for Governor of Maine, which Handy jokingly shows some interest in when he realizes a governor has certain authority over mayors.



Critical response

The film received a rating of 13% from 144 critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It also holds an uncommonly low 19% from users.[2] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 33 out of 100, based on 36 reviews.

Box office

Welcome to Mooseport grossed $6.8 million in its opening weekend, finishing in 4th place. The film finished with a worldwide gross of $14.6 million on a budget of $30 million.

Easter eggs

The film spoke about Cole getting an endorsement for the Soova, a Norwegian car. A DVD bonus has Cole doing the commercial for the Soova, which is on the Norwegian tundra, then shouting for Bullard as the cameras are still rolling.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Welcome to Mooseport at Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-05-21.

External links

  • Raymond Romano interview for Welcome To Mooseport at the Wayback Machine (archived September 29, 2007) archived from the original at
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