The 1984 movie Protocol comes from the school of political films such as Guarding Tess and Dave. These films all strip Washington politics to the bare bones and allow gentle satire and wit to rub elbows with the American political machine.
As a comedy, Protocol does have its moments, though Dave garners the most laughs. As a demonstration of pure acting ability, stick with Guarding Tess. Why then should someone plunk hard-earned bucks down on a movie such as Protocol?
Goldie Hawn is a cultural icon and gives any movie she appears in some basic worth. Buck Henry, who is known for early Saturday Night Live appearances, directing Heaven Can Wait, and the screenplay for the Owl and the Pussycat, wrote the screenplay for Protocol. Herbert Ross, who directed The Goodbye Girl, sits in the director's chair. Most importantly, those who fondly remember any of the above mentioned names will appreciate the blast from the past that Protocol represents.
Without giving away too much of the film's surprises, Goldie plays a ditzy character who finds herself doing the right thing at the wrong time. In this particular case, she inadvertently saves the life of a visiting Arab political figure. Apparent gratitude from the U.S. government eventually lands Hawn's character a position on the White House's protocol team. There, Goldie finds herself to be basically a pawn. In her own abnormal fashion, Goldie proves that pawns can, in fact, win the game.
One special historical note is brought forth through viewing Protocol in a post-Sept. 11th world. Hollywood's portrayal of Arabs has uniquely changed during the years since Protocol originally played in theaters across America.