Of the central couple, Weiner is far less puzzling than Abedin. He's a combative and compulsive narcissist who's as energetic and charismatic a campaigner as he is a husband unconcerned with his wife's dignity. He comes off as desirous of wanting to look just like another normal guy, but utterly failing. He asks staffers to leave, so he can have an intimate talk with his wife, but the camerapeople get no such request. She, however, is an enigma from her first frame, balefully watching Weiner from the next room as he plays with their infant son. At a fundraising dinner, he watches her schmooze with genuine admiration and love in his eyes. When the tables turn in a brilliant bit of editing, the expression on her face is far more conflicted, and it doesn't look positive. It's apparent why he would consent to this. He's at home waving in the various ethnic parades it appears take place in NYC every weekend. There's no apparent reason for her to have agreed, beyond doing it for him. It would seem like she was the one owed a favor in the marriage at this point, but who really knows?
Stripped of all historical context, Weiner is most plainly an all-access look inside a political operation. With a candidate as fundamentally flawed as the one at its center, and coupled with his inscrutable partner, the film becomes fairly monumental. Few politicians would let reporters or filmmakers this far into their campaigns, but few politicians are as self-centered as Anthony Weiner. The viewer is left feeling less enlightened about a somewhat opaque business or about the weird vagaries of human behavior than they are just feeling a little gross. Gross for getting this personal a look into a difficult time in two people's lives, and gross because of the film's epilogue. Weiner indirectly may have led to a man of equal narcissism getting elected as the most powerful man in the world, scumbaggery begetting scumbaggery. A trivial anecdote becomes something far darker, and a butterfly named Carlos Danger flaps his wings and causes a tsunami in Washington. B