'Weiner': A Punchline or a Riff on Politicians' Peccadilloes

Really? Anthony Weiner wants unconditional love. This big baby, as he appears for real in Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg's entertaining documentary Weiner, the former congressman wants to parlay his dick on the Internet and be elected for office. That's the size of it. After having been outed for this offense, Weiner ran for mayor, the occasion for the film. Josh Kriegman used to work for him and had the politician's confidence. By Weiner's side, his wife, the formidable Huma Abedin, aide to Hillary Clinton, grimaces but stands by her man. She is the most compelling reason to take this guy seriously; unrepentant the first time, he does it again. This bizarre self-destruction may belong to the Eliot Spitzer school of politics, but in the Alex Gibney documentary about the New York governor, Client 9, at least he could identify his hubris. Not Anthony Weiner! But still, for this movie, he is a relentless, charismatic star.

You see him in action, flag-waving in parades. And, you see Sydney Leathers, a tart in a red dress, stalk him. She was one of his Internet liaisons, a target for his risqué selfies. As he attempts to elude her, running through a McDonald's, she wonders, why is he afraid of a 23-year-old? On a larger canvas, this portrait in the age of Instagram takes social media to its logical end.

At a special screening last week at Roxy Hotel, Judith Miller, John McEnroe, Dan Abrams, and many others mingled with the filmmakers. No, said Josh Krieger, for whom this film perfectly joins his interests in politics and filmmaking, his former boss Anthony Weiner has not yet seen the film.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.