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The American President (1995)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 38,783 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 204 user | 74 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Sheen, Anna Deavere Smith, Nina Siemaszko, Beau Billingslea, Joshua Malina, Ralph Meyering Jr., Richard McGonagle, Thom Barry, Gabriel Jarret, Ron Canada, Nick Toth and Aaron Sorkin all had roles in both The American President (1995) and The West Wing (1999). Both were written by Sorkin. Some unused script ideas for the movie were later used on the show. The movie President studied under a Nobel Prize winner economist, the show President IS a Nobel Prize winner economist. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, when The President is getting ready to leave and drive to Sydney's house to beg for her back, she walks in and declares that the traffic is awful. This doesn't make sense; she wouldn't have been able to hear his conversation through the wall because the Oval Office is soundproof. See more »

Quotes

Sydney Ellen Wade: I regrouped. You have to give me that. I stood in the middle of the Oval Office and made it clear that he who doesn't take the GDC seriously does so at his peril.
Beth Wade: And then you walked out the wrong door.
Sydney Ellen Wade: Are you going to keep throwing that back in my face for the rest of my life?
Beth Wade: That's my current plan, yes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jackie Brown (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
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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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