American President

American President

4.4 15
Director: Rob Reiner

Cast: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen

     
 

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This earnest, intelligent, and well-written romantic comedy is enjoyable and optimistic in classic Hollywood style, even if its idealism doesn't seem quite so credible against the cynical political backdrop of the Nineties. President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), an unabashedly liberal Democrat, is just gearing up for re-election when he meets an attractive and… See more details below

Overview

This earnest, intelligent, and well-written romantic comedy is enjoyable and optimistic in classic Hollywood style, even if its idealism doesn't seem quite so credible against the cynical political backdrop of the Nineties. President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), an unabashedly liberal Democrat, is just gearing up for re-election when he meets an attractive and sharp environmental lobbyist named Sydney Wade (Annette Bening). The two fall in love and the President must soon deal with the political repercussions (Sydney is trying to get legislation through Congress), as well as the cynical machinations of Republican opponent Senator Bob Rumson (Richard Dreyfuss), who attempts to paint Sydney as a radical and use "family values" rhetoric to smear Shepherd. With the attacks affecting his standings in the all-important polls, and his love's legislation causing him headaches in the Capitol, Shepherd must decide whether he can risk continuing his relationship. A rich supporting cast, solid characterizations by Douglas and Bening, and an articulate approach make this an appealing, if not particularly weighty, study of the tensions between public and private life.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
With the same writer, principal cast members (Martin Sheen, at least), and White House milieu, The American President might now be considered Aaron Sorkin's blueprint for his hit TV show The West Wing. Both share the same cheery liberal politics, portraying a near-perfect president fending off his dirty conservative opponents while staying out of the gutter himself. Michael Douglas shines in the title role, showing he really can be loveable after the better part of a decade playing greedy capitalists and scuzzy detectives. But he's just a little too wonderful, with the perfect comment for any situation, for the film to seem like a nuanced character study. Similarly spotless is Annette Bening as his lobbyist girlfriend, whose combination of attack-dog confidence and starry-eyed romanticism make for the complete image of a modern woman, so self-actualized that even the president's teenage daughter loves her at first meeting. It's difficult to believe that dating such a woman would cause the beloved widower's approval rating to drop 20 points, especially in this day and age. These extremes get at the underlying problem of what is otherwise a smart, engaging, and enjoyable film -- it's too afraid to show any chinks in the armor of its good guys, which turns the villains (like Richard Dreyfuss's cackling fear-monger) into similarly one-dimensional symbols. But these sins can be forgiven, because it's great fun to get a realistic look at the behind-the-scenes life of a president, so unwittingly removed from the regular-guy things he loves that he can't even order flowers for his girlfriend without sending it through a committee. This inspires a string of funny moments that propel the film, making it a delightful movie-going experience -- at least for those who agree with its politics.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2012
UPC:
0883929251155
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Warner Home Video
Time:
1:53:00
Sales rank:
4,024

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Douglas President Andrew Shepherd
Annette Bening Sydney Ellen Wade
Martin Sheen A.J. MacInerney
Michael Fox Lewis Rothschild
David Paymer Leon Kodak
Richard Dreyfuss Senator Bob Rumson
Samantha Mathis Janie Basdin
Joshua Malina Actor
Anna Deavere Smith Robin McCall
Shawna Waldron Lucy Shepherd
Anne Haney Mrs. Chapil
Nina Siemaszko Beth Wade
Wendie Malick Susan Sloan
Beau Billingslea Agent Cooper
Gail Strickland Esther MacInerney
Clement Von Franckenstein President D'Astier
Efrat Lavie Madame D'Astier
John Mahoney Leo Solomon
Taylor Nichols Stu
John Mahon Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Tom Dahlgren Defense Secretary
Andrew Steel Secret Service Agent
Jordan Lund Carl
Frank Cavestani Rumson Staffer
Richard Stahl Rumson Staffer
Beans Morocco Doorkeeper
Steve Gonzales Hud Secretary
Karen Maruyama Leo's Secretary
George Murdock Congressman
Bernie McInerney Congressman Millman
Mathew Saks Congressional Staffer
Googy Gress Gil
Ron Canada Reporter Lloyd
Rick Garcia Reporter
Aaron Sorkin Aide in Bar
Leslie Bega White House Staffer Laura
Arthur Senzy Deputy
Maud Winchester White House Aide
Mark Thompson Kenneth Michaels
Joseph Latimore Secret Service Agent
Thom Barry Guard
Kathryn Ish Actor

Technical Credits
Rob Reiner Director,Producer
Frank Capra Asst. Director
Hallie D'Amore Makeup
Robert Eber Sound/Sound Designer
Gloria Gresham Costumes/Costume Designer
M. Todd Henry Camera Operator
Janet Hirshenson Casting
Industrial Light & Magic Special Effects
Jane Jenkins Casting
Alan S. Kaye Set Decoration/Design
Lilly Kilvert Production Designer
Robert Leighton Editor
Barbara Maltby Associate Producer
Louis Montejano Set Decoration/Design
Nick Navarro Set Decoration/Design
Charles James Newirth Executive Producer
Karen O'Hara Set Decoration/Design
Eric Orbom Set Decoration/Design
Robert Redford Producer
John Seale Cinematographer
Marc Shaiman Score Composer
Aaron Sorkin Screenwriter
Jeffrey Stott Executive Producer
John Warnke Art Director

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