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
Company logos change between versions. For example, on the laserdisc, the movie starts with a 20-second silent Columbia logo (before the Castle Rock logo), and the end credits crawl includes (after the title of the movie has gone onscreen) a line-art logo "Released by Columbia Pictures/A Sony Pictures Entertainment company" that crawls up and stops, over the end of the music. On the international prints, the 1990-1997 Universal logo was played and it was also silent. The 1999 WB DVD skips the opening logo, starting with the Castle Rock logo instead, and where the Columbia logo at the end should appear as the music ends, a still clouds-and-shield WB logo appears instead (Distributed by WB/A Warner Communications Company). The Columbia versions are probably truer to the original theatrical release. See also The Shawshank Redemption. See more »
Aaron Sorkin's script and pitch-perfect performances by Annette Bening and Michael Douglas create a funny and ultimately poignant movie that makes a viewer happy to be an American.
Douglas portrays a flawed but deeply honest president who knows how to learn from his mistakes. He conducts himself with dignity. Bening is a political lobbyist with a strong commitment to the environment. (Interesting that a film made 23years ago outlines environmental issues more clearly than they would be articulated today!) How can a relationship develop between two people given their very different positions in the political life of the country? How they work through these issues goes from humorous to dramatic and, of course, a happy ending.
All the minor characters are well fleshed out. In particular, Martin Sheen as Chief of Staff wants happiness for his old friend, but is very aware of the poltiical realities involved. Michael J. Fox wants the president to be the best man he can be, wants him to live up to the highest values of the office.
Watching this film, I am struck by the ability of the Office of the President to create positive change in this world. I hope we can see this reflected at the White House once again some day.
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