Newest Review: ... haven't changed much!) The President of France is due to visit the United States, but the President's planned date for the event (his ... more
The President's got a girlfriend.
The American President (DVD)
Member Name: Vixstar
The American President (DVD)
Advantages: Gentle rom com; politics lite; cast; aaron sorkin
Disadvantages: None for the price
If you like gentle romantic comedies then you'll undoubtedly enjoy this classic tale of boy meets girl but boy is President of the United States.
Michael Douglas stars as Andrew Shepard the widowed president of the United States, with a well adjusted daughter and a high popularity rating. His big plan for re-election is to get a pretty weak, and mostly unsupported by the other politicians, gun control bill through congress. Annette Benning is Sydney Ellen Wade a lobbyist hired to get the necessary support for a CO2 reduction bill. (Considering this was released in 1995 it appears significant political issues haven't changed much!) The President of France is due to visit the United States, but the President's planned date for the event (his cousin - of course) is unwell. After their first meeting the President invites Sydney, via telephone with the expected misundertanding and disbelief, to be his date for the event. The President also makes a deal with Sydney - if she can secure 24 votes for the environmental bill he will get the remaining 10 - he fully expects her to fail and leave him looking good for having tried to pass the bill. And so the scene is set for the film to examine how a public President can have a private romance, the effect it will have on his popularity and how politics can seriously mess up your social life.
This film has a lot going for it in its writer, director and cast. It is writen by Aaron Sorkin who went on to write West Wing and directed by Rob Reiner. The supporting cast includes Martin Sheen, Michale J Fox, David Paymer and Anna Deavere Smith as the President's staff and Richard Dreyfuss as the bad guy Republican from Kansas.
There are the two threads running through it - the relationship between Sydney and the President with its difficulties and lack of privacy - and the political story which backs this up and adds to the difficulties in the relationship. Although for those that do not have an in depth grasp of the US political system don't worry this is definitely a rom com with a light sprinkling of politics.
I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of either of the leads in this film but I enjoy it for its gentle humour and the attempt to make the President of the United States seem like any man. The supporting actors are good and provide some witty one liners. It is a film which I have watched and rewatched, an excellent Sunday afternoon movie.
For the sake of completeness this dvd does have limited bonus material consisting of the theatrical trailer (why when you've just watched the movie?), production notes and biographies. It can be found in the bargain basements of many dvd retailers although I think that severely underrates this film.
Summary: Boy meets girl with a presidential twist