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The American President
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The American President More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not Reiner's best, but a very good film besides

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
3 September 2010

Having loved Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride and This is Spinal Tap, I saw The American President hoping I would at least like it. And I did. The title may be generic and there may be the odd cliché, but The American President is very likable and entertaining with a Frank Capra feel to it without being Rob Reiner's best. The story has a nice balance of comedy and seriousness, while the screenplay sparkles not only in the more romantic moments but especially in the final speech which was simply brilliant in both writing and delivery. Rob Reiner's direction is outstanding, while the production values are lovely and the music superb. The acting is faultless. Michael Douglas is very commanding in the lead role(that is different from his other roles I noticed) and Annette Bening in a performance that combines slinky sophistication and bubbly wit is terrific. The support from Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfuss and especially Michael J. Fox is also top drawer. All in all, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Annette Bening Gets the Chief Executive Treatment

Author: evanston_dad from United States
12 May 2009

Amiable Rob Reiner comedy that stars Michael Douglas giving an appealing performance as a fairy tale president who's just the kind of person you always wish a U.S. president could be but who never is. Annette Bening plays his love interest, a spunky activist who finds herself cowed by the (chief) executive treatment. Bening is utterly charming and winning, proving that she has what it takes to be a modern-day Barbara Stanwyck or Jean Arthur. The cast also includes Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox, and the Academy-Award nominated score has been co-opted as the generic background music that plays during movie trailers -- the minute you hear it, you'll realize that you've already heard it a hundred times and think, "THAT's where that music is from."

Grade: B

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Tale of Love... Well, and About Politics

Author: gavin6942 from United States
1 October 2007

President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) has been a widower for a while, living in the White House with his daughter. After meeting a lobbyist named Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), he thinks it's time to date again and pursues her. But can she deal with his power and can he deal with her job as a lobbyist?

I enjoyed this film. It was a decent love story, but an even better political story. I'm not sure what world Rob Reiner lives in, but he has an ultra-liberal president and a liberal lobbyist as his main characters. He has the president cutting emissions by 20%, banning handguns and even giving a soliloquy about the "Libyan janitor" who will die because his government made a mistake and will get bombed by America. No president has ever been this left-wing.

Samantha Mathis is in this film and looking her hottest ever (much more so than "Pump Up The Volume"). Michael J. Fox appears and is incredibly energetic and anal. We'll never see that from him again. One problem was casting Martin Sheen as A.J. MacInerney (I think this was the Defense Secretary). Even before "West Wing", Sheen just looks presidential, so when he's in the same room as Michael Douglas, Douglas just loses all his power.

The film was a bit long, but not too much. It had Richard Dreyfuss as an old Republican (who looked like an evil version of Dick Cheney). It had the first daughter, who apparently never leaves her room and just studies and plays her instrument all day. (Watch how often she leaves her chair -- like once). Some strange things, but they were entertaining to say the least.

Go ahead and see this film. Annette Bening is sort of annoying, but Michael Douglas is always great ("Falling Down", "The Game"). Sure, he comes across as a sexual predator in this one (he basically coerces the woman into a date with his Commander-in-Chief powers) but it worked for him. He somehow manages not to come across as creepy. Check it out and see what I mean.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fluff entertainment

Author: newfiesailor from Canada
19 June 2007

A movie based on the romance of the President and a quirky lobbyist. Some good scenes, clustered near the start, notably the dinner and the first phone call the President makes to Annette Benning's apartment. The movie is fresh at this point and Michael Douglas is cool in his role; Benning, equally charming. Martin Sheen shines in his role as the Chief of Staff and I think is the actor who steals the show. It's no wonder when the West Wing came calling, who was getting the lead role.

But this movie gets wearily cute after an hour and falls into cliché in the last half. There is no real chemistry or energy between the two lead actors despite their fine performances and they fall flat. No really emotional scenes and the movie plays it too cool. No charisma.

So as a whole, I can recommend this movie because of some good scenes and it's style: just expect whipped cream instead of meat and potatoes.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

West Wing-lite

Author: daniel charchuk
9 April 2007

It's terrific fluff; definitely a precursor to The West Wing, but with less politics and more romance. Sorkin's script seems almost like an appetizer for his main dish later. Sure, the president is unbelievably decent and intelligent, but it's a movie; I can look past the relative implausibility of the character to just enjoy the film. There's an excellent cast - many of whom would later appear on West Wing - highlighted by Michael Douglas' likable president and Michael J. Fox's hilarious speech writer. The romance is enjoyable without being cheesy, and the writing is top-notch. Sorkin's trademark rapid-fire dialogue is toned down a bit, which works very well for the film, and the story is simple but effective. Just an excellent romantic-comedy.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An American classic

Author: winstonfg from Belgium
27 January 2007

Slick, funny, intelligent and touching; this is one of the few comedies I would put in my top 10 favourite films.

Rob Reiner and Aaron Sorkin (of West Wing fame) have created a real gem here. It doesn't talk down to you and the chemistry between the two stars is genuine. The supporting cast is excellent too; especially Michael J Fox reprising the type of role that made him a household name in Spin City, Martin Sheen as the wise and underrated chief-of-staff ("If I wasn't (one step behind you), you'd be the most popular History professor at the University of Wisconsin"), and Richard Dreyfuss clearly revelling in his bad-guy role. Oh, and the sets are *spectacular*.

I first watched it with a girlfriend when it first came out, and we both loved it. Suffice to say: the girlfriend is gone, but I still watch this movie when it's on. And the speech at the end still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A very warm, well written and acted romantic comedy.

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
24 January 2007

No big secret that I'm not a person who normally enjoy watching a romantic comedy. It's a genre of; once you have seen one movie you have seen them all. Most movies are the same, with cliché, over-the-top and sappy romantic and dramatic situations that are all far from believable. "The American President" however always has been a movie that I enjoy watching. The mixture of politics and romance works well and the movie is definitely carried to great heights by its impressive cast.

Making a love-story involve around the president of the United States already is of course an original and refreshing approach on the genre. It's all the movie refreshing since the two main characters are supposedly in the late 40's/early 50's or perhaps even older. No youngsters who have their entire life ahead of them, who meet the love of their life. This are people who've had a long life and career behind them and have different priorities in life. It's refreshing and also quite daring that a movie in a genre like this picks that approach but it works out very well, which is mainly due to the acting of the two principal actors and the supporting cast. The surreal environment and characters, provide some good comical moments at all. It's not easy doing simple things such as ordering flowers by phone or getting a serious date when you're the President of the United States of America.

In fact, the story really isn't that special, although it's still solid written, with some good dialog. The movie is more romantic than comical probably and the movie also isn't the deepest going movie around. Still the characters are given depth and are being fleshed out perfectly by the actors.

Michael Douglas and Annette Bening are very convincing together as two persons who are falling in love, in an almost surrealistic environment. They share some great on screen chemistry and their acting is truly great and yes, Michael Douglas is convincing as the President and he handles the more comical like situations also very well. It makes the love story between work out beautifully. They're also being supported by a fine supporting cast, including actors such as Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox (though he seems a bit out of place in his role), David Paymer, Richard Dreyfuss (who stays a bit too underused) and John Mahoney.

The movie does a very good job at portraying how personal life and politics always get mix up and milked out by the press and opposing parties. The movie shows how ridicules and completely uncalled for that all actually is. It's like people with political agendas can't have a personal life without it being covered and discussed by the general public. It shows the influence and power of media in this world of television, radio and newspapers and how it can influence your opinion regarding a certain subject or person, you don't even know in real life. The movie makes its point well, without ever getting preachy or too moralistic about things. Kudos to the writer Aaron Sorkin (also the creator and writer of "The West Wing") and director Rob Reiner, who always keep the balance between the different subjects, regarding politics and love, right. It makes the movie work out powerful and effective, as well as heartwarming.

The movie is good looking and has good production values. The cinematography by John Seale makes the movie look warm and the musical score by Marc Shaiman makes the movie powerful.

I wish Rob Reiner made more movies like this.


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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great, feel-good movie everyone can enjoy!

Author: klboudreaux from United States
12 January 2007

I love this movie! Mom mother "forced" me to watch this movie when I was 12 and I loved it then too. Besides a few curse words here and there, everyone can enjoy this movie. It's sweet, sassy, and uplifting. Michael and Annette make a great pair in this movie. The work really well off of each other. The comedy, drama and romance shine with this duo. And for all you West Wing fans, Martin Sheen is great in this movie. He and Michael J. Fox team up to be a great pair. With that cast and great supporters like David Paymer and Richard Dreyfuss, this movie can't miss! Great flick for a date or a night with friends. Yes, I'm sure it's categorized as a 'chick-flick' but the comedy in the movie makes up for it. I can recite every line of this movie and still love to watch it. Great flick!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Romantic State of Union.

Author: dunmore_ego from Los Angeles, California
19 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Romantic comedies" have long been relegated to the demeaning stable of Chick Flicks because their sophomoric bent allows them no breadth of intelligence or forays into behavior with balls - pussies browbeat men into behaving like pussies, whilst pulp novella situations play out in a world inhabited by pussified male models and Jennifer Lopez.

Director Rob Reiner's *The American President* is exactly the opposite; not only is the male protagonist anything but a pussy, or unlikely to be pushed into being one, the movie is intelligent and charming, yet masculine enough for men to appreciate, with astute writing and full-bodied characters, and takes into account the fact that some viewers can apprehend more than just boomboxes outside bedroom windows or fart jokes.

Michael Douglas is The American President, Andrew Shepherd, a widower with another term election looming. Annette Bening is lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade, whom he falls for. The obstacle between the smitten lovers is nothing short of the aura of the Presidency itself, and writer Aaron Sorkin (*A Few Good Men*) brings a depth of humanity and humor to this situation that is sorely lacking in American love stories.

Douglas effortlessly inhabits the President's mantle and it is a constant joy to see him imbue this office with a power that we know the real President does not have, a poignancy we know the real President does not possess and a humanity we know the real President has long since lost. (As in most American movies portraying the Presidential post, the refrain must unfortunately read, "We can dream, can't we?") When President Shepherd orders an attack on a foreign country, his concern is for the civilians with families who will be working the foreign embassy when it gets bombed; it is a heart-wrenching decision for him – as opposed to the real life President G.W. Bush's demeanor when asked whether he suffered any pangs of conscience after greenlighting the Iraq war, "I made the decision. I sleep well at night." To the real life President, "only one thing matters – winning." Sociological disparities like this litter the film: we realize that opposing party leader, Bob Rumson's (Richard Dreyfuss) smearing of the President's love life and his half-baked jabs at Shepherd's flag-burning, hippie girlfriend were reined in by the film-makers, after being aware of the real-life President's office stooping to outright lies to blacken its opposition (Bush versus Kerry, 2004).

And though it is obvious much White House protocol was passed over with a wave of the Hollywood wand, the movie is so well-made that these deficiencies seem like trivialities.

Supporting players are suitably brilliant: Martin Sheen, as Shepherd's right-hand man and confidante, Michael J. Fox (reprising his role as some kind of Alex Keaton within the President's cabinet), David Paymer (the role of pollster couldn't be more suited to a character actor so jumpy and uncomfortable), and John Mahoney (the character actor with his picture next to "father figure" in the dictionary).

*The American President* never loses its focus on the love story; the element which actually holds our attention, rather than making us wince, due to its being played out by intelligent adults, instead of pussified male models and Jennifer Lopez or 16-to-20 year-olds making all their decisions under the influence of hormones and beer. Witnessing the chemistry between Shepherd and Wade, we can't help but speculate that if the real-life Presidency could experience one-millionth of this heady hallucinogen with a woman one-billionth as vivacious and witty as Annette Bening, there would be infinitely less political turmoil in the world.

As it is phrased outside Presidential circles: "Dude, you need to get laid more often."

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

flawless look inside the life of a fictional "American President"(Sorkin ,Douglas and company strike gold)

Author: disdressed12 from Canada
3 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

without knowing beforehand,it isn't hard to figure out Aaron Sorkin is the genius behind this movie.yes,Rob Reiner directed this masterpiece.and yes it had an a-list cast in both leading and supporting roles,all of whom were amazing.but it is the writing of Sorkin that really makes this film what it is.the man is a pure genius when it comes to great dialogue.wit,sarcasm,drama,romance,all conveyed beautifully by his writing.everything works in this might need a hanky in the last act,as there is a real tear jerker of a scene that has huge impact,and will leave quite an impression.Micheal Douglas is brilliantly cast as the "American,they guy has presence.the speech he delivers could have come off as maudlin and hammy in the hands of a lesser actor.this is how a presidential speech should be.and we can't forget Annette Benning who does a superb job as the romantic interest.something else i was really impressed by was how the president was portrayed as a "normal" man with normal, problems,without diminishing his importance as the "leader of the free world".this is a flawed man. another great feature of this movie is that there is no patriotic,inspirational flag waving blather. Everything is very low key.i have never really been interested in The west wing"but i've been converted.Sorkin is of course also the genius behind that show.anyway,i can't say enough about"The American president".this is one of the top 5 five movies i have ever seen.Flawless. 10+/10

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