|THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (director: Rob Reiner; screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin; cinematographer: John Seale; editor: Bob Leighton; music: Marc Shaiman; cast: Michael Douglas (President Andrew Shepherd), Annette Bening (Sydney Wade), Martin Sheen (A. J.), Michael J. Fox (Lewis), Richard Dreyfuss (Bob Rumson), Anna Deveare Smith (Robin), David Paymer (Kodak), Shawna Waldron (Lucy), Samantha Mathis (Janie); Runtime: 113; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Rob Reiner; Columbia Pictures (Universal); 1995)|
and glossy middle-brow rom/com blended
together with corny Capra-like political
by Dennis Schwartz
genial and glossy middle-brow rom/com blended
together with corny Capra-like political drama. It's
modestly helmed by Rob Reiner ("The
Magic of Belle Isle"/"LBJ"/"A Few Good Men") to be
likable fodder for public consumption, choosing to
eschew anything controversial as an LBJ thing. It's so
sweet as a wish-fulfillment flick about a dreamy
pragmatic liberal Clintonesque president,
who only Hollywood can present without blushing
at its incredible creation. It works for those who can
be satisfied with such inoffensive fluff.
clever screenplay by Aaron Sorkin adds a new twist to
the rom/com scenario, by making the WH such a romantic
Douglas is the lonely recently widowed
Democrat US President, with a young daughter (Shawna
Waldron), who falls for the beautiful lobbyist played
by Annette Bening. In an election year, this becomes a
big deal. The honest President is warned of possible
consequences from this tricky romance by his loyal Chief
of Staff (Martin Sheen), the pollster (David
Paymer) and political aide (Michael J.
Fox). It results in the President going
down in the polls despite doing nothing wrong.
pic shoots itself in the foot by not taking risks and
being so bland. After-all, the charm of its co-stars
can only go so far.
REVIEWED ON 9/23/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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