The film is set in 1968, the day Richard Nixon was first elected to the White House, and was released soon after the Watergate scandal had reached its messy conclusion. The political atmosphere provides a source of dramatic irony, since the audience, but not the characters, are aware of the direction the Nixon presidency would eventually take. However, the main theme of the film is not presidential politics but sexual politics; it is renowned for its sharp satire of late-1960s sexual and social mores.

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