What do Spencer Tracy and Ice Cube have in common? They’ve both starred in movies titled “State of the Union,” albeit with minor differences.
The late Tracy starred in Frank Capra’s 1948 “State of the Union” as a wealthy businessman, Grant Matthews, who’s a front for scheming newspaperwoman Kay Thorndyke, played by Angela Lansbury. The problem? Matthews starts to speak out of turn and reunites with his estranged wife, Mary Matthews, played by Katharine Hepburn. There’s no actual State of the Union speech in the flick, but it’s one of those post-World War II movies that helped articulate the American character.
On the other side of the cinematic spectrum, there’s Ice Cube’s 2005 action vehicle “xXx: State of the Union.” Cube plays Darius Stone, the latest super badass in the government’s XXX program that Vin Diesel so admirably helped started in 2002′s “xXx.” There’s some sort of plot, but we’d be hard pressed to explain it. The president’s State of the Union address is a plot point, though, so at least there’s truth in advertising with the title. “This man is makin’ a move on the U.S. Capitol,” Cube’s character states. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
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The District of Columbia is a cultural capital where you can you get your kicks from movies projected on the National Mall, lectures on vermouth or Russian avant-garde art. There's always something to do.
Jason Dick is the Hill Life editor for Roll Call and has also worked at Greenwire, CongressDaily and National Journal Daily during his time in Washington. @jasonjdick