James Rebhorn

Sometimes Rock's nearly Capra-esque

Can Frank Capra be saved from his copycats?

First Adam Sandler remade Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and now Chris Rock does Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with a hero from a Washington neighborhood so tough, he quips, "You can get shot while you're getting shot."

Rock's latter-day Mr. Smith is a hands-on alderman named Mays Gilliam. He attracts media attention by rescuing an old woman and her cat from a very-soon-to-be-demolished house just when two campaign planes crash into each other and eliminate a presidential ticket. The dead men's party leader (James Rebhorn), unwilling to take on a popular opponent (Nick Searcy), sees Mays as the answer to his dreams: a black...