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
When Sydney leaves the residence at the White House after her first night with the President, she wears earrings that she didn't have the evening before (when she came promptly to tell him why she couldn't see him anymore). I can assure you no woman exhibits earrings like that at 5 AM if she hadn't worn them before (hiding in her pockets?!?). During the same scene, it's amazing to observe A.J. with his hands in his back, in his pockets and in his back again through the movements of cameras. See more »
Sydney Ellen Wade:
[with dread as she realizes that she was in fact speaking with the president on the phone]
Mr. President... um... uh... I'm sure there's an appropriate thing to say at this moment... probably some formal apology for the "nice ass" remark would be in order, I just... I don't quite know how to word it.
President Andrew Shepherd:
No, it's my fault. I shouldn't have called you at home. Should I call you at the office tomorrow?
Sydney Ellen Wade:
No, no, of course not... I mean, yes, you can call me anytime you want... this is fine, right now is...
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My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the president of the United States!
Is there a genre that Rob Reiner can't work in and make successful? He captured comedy beautifully with The Sure Thing. Music was brilliant with This is Spinal Tap. Horror? How about Misery? Courtroom drama was awesome with A Few Good Men. And now we have a political drama/comedy. There is nothing this man can't do.
This movie works inspite of people's claims that it is too political. Well you know what, it's about the president of the United States of America, there's going to be a bit of poiltics in it. And guess what, guns do kill people, so to have an issue at hand here that deals with gun control is applaudable.
Okay, that's out of the way, let's talk about the film itself. Because it is wonderful. It is funny, well acted, and it is written with a good ear.
The cast in this film is one to be envied by almost everyone except Oliver Stone and Robert Altman who seem to get everyone to do their films. But here we have Douglas as the president, Sheen as his aid, Michael J. Fox, Samantha Mathis, Annette Bening as Sydney Ellen Wade and in my favourite performance, Richard Dreyfuss as the sniveling weasle Senator Bob Rumsen.
As the story goes, the president's character gets questioned when he ( a widow ) finds a girlfriend in Sydney Wade. The issues are handled wonderfully here. Nothing is really tip-toed around as the script writer ( Aaron Sorkin ) writes a brave script about what is right and wrong with being the president and having a girlfriend.
I personally liked the politics in the film. I enjoyed how Shepherd decides to ignore the critisism leveled at him until the very end when he gives one of the best written speeches I've ever seen in film. And when he flexes his authoritative muscles, you feel his power, you feel that the president has spoken. And I was moved. This is a great film and one that should be checked out for sure.
**** I also found it to be interesting that the character in the film that tries to get the issue of gun control brought to the forefront is Michael J. Fox. He is Canadian and we don't have problems with guns here. Is it a coincidence ( probably ) that he was chosen to play this role? Or was it done deliberately? Interesting.
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