6.2/10
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17 user 29 critic

An American Affair (2008)

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In 1963, during the swirl of glamour and intrigue that turned President John F. Kennedy's Washington into Camelot, a lonely 13-year-old Catholic school boy comes of age.

Director:

William Olsson

Writer:

Alex Metcalf
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gretchen Mol ... Catherine Caswell
James Rebhorn ... Lucian Carver
Cameron Bright ... Adam Stafford
Mark Pellegrino ... Graham Caswell
Perrey Reeves ... Adrienne Stafford
Noah Wyle ... Mike Stafford
Jimmy Bellinger ... Jimmy
Jermaine Crawford ... Andre
Jerry Hart Jerry Hart ... Carl
Lisa-Lisbeth Finney Lisa-Lisbeth Finney ... Sister Mary Eunice
Laurel Astri Laurel Astri ... Faith
Sarah Hart Sarah Hart ... Patricia
Jerry Whiddon Jerry Whiddon ... Jacques
Monika Samtani Monika Samtani ... Sita
Hannah Williams Hannah Williams ... Magda
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Storyline

What if a boy's coming of age included a relationship with a woman in her 30s, a free spirit who paints and who numbers the President of the United States among her lovers? In Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1963, junior-high student Adam Stafford becomes obsessed with his new neighbor, Catherine Caswell. He steams open her mail, reads her diary, peers into her windows, and hides in her closet. CIA agents notice him; he sees them meet with her and with an anti-Castro Cuban. She hires Adam to work in her garden, and they become friends of sorts. Is theirs an American affair? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What can you do for your country? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boy of Pigs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Astrakan Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)| Color (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Jimmy Bellinger portrayed a character, Jimmy, who had the same first name as his own. See more »

Quotes

Catherine Caswell: Need a little deniability, Graham? Point A leads to point B, leads to finger on the trigger.
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Soundtracks

The End of the World
Written by Sylvia Dee and Arthur Kent
Performed by Skeeter Davis
Courtesy of RCA Nashville
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User Reviews

 
coming-of-age tale meets JFK
25 September 2009 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

Written by Alex Metcalf and directed by William Olsson, "An American Affair" at least earns points for originality. For what starts out as a fairly conventional coming-of-age tale set in 1963 Washington D.C. suddenly turns into a piece of historical fiction when the obligatory older woman 13-year-old Adam Stafford (Cameron Bright) falls madly in love with turns out to be none other than the mistress of President John F. Kennedy himself. Thus, not only is Adam introduced to the wonderful world of raging hormones but to the sociopolitical issues of the day as well.

Adam is the son of two journalists who have no clue their child has been peeping into the home across the way, enjoying a full-court view of Catherine Caswell (nicely played by Gretchen Mol), a glamorous divorcée and ex-CIA agent guaranteed to get any healthy young American lad's juices flowing. When Adam introduces himself to her, Catherine hires him on as a gardener, a setup that gives the youngster plenty of opportunity to not only make his move on this prospective conquest but, thanks to her uniquely complicated social life, to have a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into a bit of juicy, albeit undocumented, political history.

"An American Affair" throws so many disparate elements into the mix - May/December romance (or maybe more like February/August), lurid political melodrama, adolescent wish-fulfillment, cloak-and-dagger espionage, conspiracy-theory speculation - that it can't help but generate a certain fascination, even when the story itself is not all that convincing or the passion for the subject not everything it could be (this applies mainly to the first half).

All the "Summer of '42" stuff is, ultimately, far less compelling than the political details of the period, steeped as they are in Kennedy-era glamour and paranoia, with larger-than-life figures acting out a torrid little soap opera in the foreground, while shadowy figures (mainly Cubans and CIA agents) skulk around in the background. The scenes surrounding the assassination are treated with subtlety and restraint, making them all the more heartbreaking and poignant for those in the audience who lived through the experience. In fact, the whole last half hour of the film achieves a haunting sadness that finally penetrates to the very marrow of one's bones.

The movie certainly won't solve the puzzle as to "Who killed JFK?," but it has some fun trying to piece it all together.


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