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
President Bill Clinton and his staff granted permission for the cast and production design team to visit the White House on five occasions. See more »
When the president is first shown stepping off the presidential helicopter (having just landed) you can see in the background the rotors are completely stopped, but when the camera cuts back to the president the rotors are are now winding down and still moving slowly after the pilot shut down the engine. See more »
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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