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The American President (1995)

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Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway.

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4,443 ( 88)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Andrew Shepherd is approaching the end of his first term as President of the United States. He's a widower with a young daughter and has proved to be popular with the public. His election seems assured. That is until he meets Sydney Ellen Wade, a paid political activist working for an environmental lobby group. He's immediately smitten with her and after several amusing attempts, they finally manage to go on a date (which happens to be a State dinner for the visiting President of France). His relationship with Wade opens the door for his prime political opponent, Senator Bob Rumson, to launch an attack on the President's character, something he could not do in the previous election as Shepherd's wife had only recently died. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why can't the most powerful man in the world have the one thing he wants most?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

17 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi querido presidente  »

Box Office

Budget:

$62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,132,043 (UK) (15 December 1995)

Gross:

£2,628,944 (UK) (19 January 1996)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During one of his many visits to the White House, director Rob Reiner spent two consecutive days with President Bill Clinton, following him around as he went through his day. See more »

Goofs

When Sydney first spends the night in the residence at the White House, the President is awakened by Lewis stating that the press is camped out at all entrances. When Lewis comes up to the President's bedroom and then is followed by A.J and Robin, the President puts on his robe. In one shot shortly after putting on the robe the t-shirt he is wearing is scrunched up at the neck under his robe - the shot continues from a different angle and the t-shirt is perfectly straight. See more »

Quotes

Sydney Ellen Wade: [as they head to the state dinner] Do you do this often?
President Andrew Shepherd: Well, we had a state dinner for the prime minister of Japan, who died shortly thereafter, so we stopped having them just in case.
Sydney Ellen Wade: No. I mean, do you date often?
President Andrew Shepherd: Oh. No. You?
Sydney Ellen Wade: Yeah, well, lately I seem to be going out on a lot of first dates.
President Andrew Shepherd: Oh, so you've got experience with this kind of thing.
Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh yeah, you can ask me anything.
President Andrew Shepherd: So, how are we doing?
Sydney Ellen Wade: Ohhh you know pretty much everyday first date kind of stuff...
President Andrew Shepherd: Darn, and I wanted to be ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.3 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet Music from Faust
By Charles Gounod
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User Reviews

Warm, fun film with a big heart
15 February 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

US President Andrew Shepherd is a widower who was sweep into power on the back of great public sympathy. Three years into his presidency he meets and falls for Sydney Ellen Wade, an environmental lobbyist. Eventually they begin to date against the counsel of his advisors, giving his rivals (most notably Senator Rumson) and the media the ammunition they need to begin to attack his presidency.

This is not exactely a political thriller. In fact it is as far removed from reality as you could imagine. However that's the point, this film doesn't pretend to be anything other than a romantic comedy - it has some political wranglings but it is very far from the (still very tidy and clean) rule of Martin Sheen's President in TV's The West Wing. However the story is nicely handled and Rob Reiner is natually very good at this type of thing. Here it occasionally is far too sickly sweet and sentimental, but most of it works well.

Douglas is good in the lead and looks quite acceptable as the President of the US - lets be honest, if it was him or "oil baron" Bush who would you pick? Bening is also good as Sydney but neither have anything outside of the usual romantic leads to do. The real strength here is the supporting cast - both in terms of class and sheer enterainment value.To name a few - Sheen, MJ Fox, Mathis, Dreyfuss - all big names, all funny performances.

Overall this is a big sloppy romantic comedy, but it's done with so much class that it's hard not to like it. Not brillant, but very enjoyable all the same.


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