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The American President
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Customer Reviews:

  • Great romantic comedy
    This item arrived quickly and in good condition. This is a bright, smart and fun romantic comedy. ...more info
  • Might be helpful to see the movie before reviewing it
    M. E. Zimmerman needs to see the movie before writing a review. The Annette Benning character is not a journalist, but a lobbyist for an environmental firm trying to get a bill passed.

    I found this film good fun. It was written by Aaron Sorkin and is what led to him doing The West Wing tv show. It is a bit lopsided politically, but not outrageously so. Michael Douglas makes for a physically attractive president and the concept of a single man as president is interesting. There are lots of good supporting cast (many that become Aaron Sorkin project regulars). It is fun....more info
  • the american president

    i've seen the movie before on hbo, but don't want to wait till it's on again. That is why i purched the movie. to bad our government can't run the same way. They should have more movies that show how things work behind the scenes, then people will see that everything it's as easy as we say or think it should be....more info
  • A Presidential Love
    The American President, a movie written by Aaron Sorkin and produced by Rob Reiner, is not your typical everyday love story although it does have its resemblances. A romantic, political comedy this movie provides us with great pleasure while watching events unfold. It can leave you wondering why certain things happen, and thinking how delightful this movie really is.
    In The American President there are numerous well known actors that play extraordinary roles. Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Samantha Mathis and Richard Dreyfuss round out the main characters in the film. Other prominent actors included in the film are Anna Deavere Smith, and David Paymer.
    Each of these actors looked like they felt extremely comfortable with their roles. According to Liz an Old Dominion student, "The actors just looked like they fit into their characters. They way they acted and spoke made me really think that could play these people in real life. Sydney Ellen Wade would have to be one of the characters. She played into her role and really gave an insight to how political lobbyists operate." Bridget a George Mason student said "This movie was so charming and romantic. The actors were absolutely stupendous and I think that they did an outstanding job portraying their characters, especially Michael Douglas playing the President. He was charismatic and showed that his acting skills range from an action figure to President of the United States."
    To include a brief synopsis, widowed President Andrew Shepard (Michael Douglas), meets an environmental lobbyist named Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening). They have a confrontation over a bill that Sydney wants passed, which is a 20% reduction in the admission of fossil fuels. The President disagrees with the bill but says if she can get 24 votes by the State of the Union he will support her bill, there is another little argument before she leaves his office and something quite humorous occurs. After the confrontation he invites her to State Dinner where they really being to hit things off. She comes over for dinner the next night and they have a romantic moment beginning their romance. Meanwhile since this movie is taking place during an election year we have the political opponent, Bob Rumson (Richard Dreyfuss), who would do anything in his power to beat President Shepard. Especially if this means that he will attack the President's character and his relationship with Sydney. He goes on television and begins to say horrible comments about her. During this time the President is also trying to support a bill of his own, the Crime Bill. Due to the relationship between the he and Sydney things begin to heat up when he has to choose between the two bills. The President finally makes a decision at a press conference which is also a heartfelt speech that he gives to the American people about his life. At the end of the movie we see the President walking into the chamber of Congress to deliver his State of the Union.
    I would recommend The American President to anyone who enjoys a romantic political comedy. I feel the actors did an outstanding job and the plot was charming. Rachel a student at Radford University said, "Yes, I would recommend this movie to others. It was a good movie if you are into that romantic, political type." Liz and Rachel both agreed that men will also like this movie because it is not really a "chick flick" but more a movie that all can enjoy. If you like this movie and you would like to watch more movies related to presidential romance and politics I would recommend Dave and Air Force One. I hope everyone enjoys The American President and falls in love with it as much as I did.
    ...more info
  • I've seen worse
    When I saw this movie for the first time, I enjoyed some parts for great acting and writing and winsome characters. However, as for its politics, the film's mischaracterizations, political straw men, distortions and outright lies left me extremely frustrated. One small example: the ACLU is not "an organization dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights" as President Shephard claims at the end of the movie. When was the last time the ACLU came out to defend the second amendment, or the ninth, or tenth?

    Some people say that you have to separate this film's politics from the romantic comedy aspect. Why? Aaron Sorkin clearly intended it to be a political tract, allbeit gift wrapped and tied with a bow; he clearly didn't intend for it just to be another romantic comedy about, oh, two competing shopkeepers on the Upper West Side. He had a point to make, he made it, and his film should be taken as such.

    I've heard that TAP became the blue print for the West Wing, which makes sense. It doesn't take a shroom trip to make the connection between the two. What can you say about TAP as opposed to WW? Well, the lighting's better. The tone is lighter. The president is portrayed by less of a freak. I think.

    I know conservatives who badmouth TAP, based on its obvious pro-liberal slant and shilling for Clinton, who was president at the time (of course, Clinton was married, while the fictitious Shephard was a widower, but liberals never let marital status stand in the way of romance). There's something to be said for that angle, but in retrospect I think that conservatives should be more generous to the film. Particularly as it relates to gun control, this movie and countless TV shows helped ossify the liberal thinking about guns, which more than any other factor lost West Virginia for Gore in 2000, which... well, you remember.
    ...more info
  • American President
    We had this movie in VCR and were very glad to find it in DVD. We love this movie. The price was good and shipping was very quick. Thank you...more info
  • Great Movie, Disgusting DVD of low visual quality
    A wonderful 5 star movie, so why would I give it only one star? Please let me enlighten you before you run out and buy it on DVD. I watched this movie for years on a VHS and adored it, it's one of my favs. more on that later, first you want to hear my warning. Now that I invested in a wonderful Plasma HDTV I found I needed the higher resolution DVDs and began replacing my entire 2000 movie collection. as another person who also tells you about the lousy DVD trasnfer said, it isn't anamorphic, and basicqally it means everything when you are talking about a great picture versus a lousy one with pixels showing, making every edge of everything constantly distracting with the way they seem alive, kind of reflective and moving,,, but we dont want the edge of the desk to move. they dont move in real life, they are hard straight edges of hard wood. in an ANAMORPHIC transfer the edges are crisp and clear and everything is beautiful, even a delivery truck on a street is actually fun to look at because its so darn clear and amazing to see! the faces of the actors are made ugly, litterally. I am not exaggerating. faces are so pixelated its completely distracting! The people becomd tiny due to the overly wide format, but you cant click your zoom to get closer because that just shows the bad effect even more pronounced! it sucks! I kid you not! so, seeing this and being made so upset here's what I did; I plugged in my VCR AND my DVD player,,,, mind you I use an OPPO which i also bought here on Amazon, so you know I was getting more from the DVD than it actually has to offer,,, they optomize the resolution,,, but even with it's help the VHS actually was better to watch, more enjoyable, clearer, closer larger faces, just plain more fun to watch. I just paid $11 for a used DVD in mint condition through Amazon's used movie section and ended up watching it on my old VHS. WOW!~~! when given the choice I actually watched the entire movie from my old VHS and put the DVD BACK ON THE SHELF! I hope you are hearing me folks because its the truth. I wasted every penny I'd spent on the DVD. now just so you know i'm not just full of bad beans,,, of my 2000 movies I own, only this one DVD actually sucks like this. There are older movies that arent anamorphic either that were put out on DVD that I also bought and played and though they also arent high resolution, they werent all pixelated like this one is and they were still enjoyable and very watchable. only this one is of such a poor video transfer that I had to write all this about it, only this one!! and thats the truth!!! Do yourself a favor if you havent seen this movie yet, buy it, but not on DVD. Go buy a cheap priced VHS on ebay for $1 usually (plus shipping) its cheap because so many were sold due to its so good. but wait to buy it on DVD until they fix this awful crime. they really screwed us over with this crapola low quality DVD,,, its as if they got it directly from a VHS and stretched it to fit the larger screens without giving it the additional resolution to make it look as good. SOoooooo,,, the only way to get them to fix crimes like this, is if everyone will give it a one star rating until they fix the problem, and apologize for screwing us of our money,,, its so bad they should send a new DVD to anyone sending in an old crappy version, the one now available! I hope you take me seriously, if I could I would mail you both my DVD and my VHS so you can see for yourself. I bet you could even tell the difference if I took pics of the movie on pause at the exact same part in the movie and had you all compare them. I am so dissappointed I cant watch this great movie any more, until they undo the damage and re-make it. it just sucks I will have to buy it a third time, there should be a law against this kind of junk happening to us, arent we American citizens? dont we deserve better? a seperate agency from the movie industry should police these DVDs and give them a 1-5 rating of the DVD transfer so people could avoid ones like this, and this one is the worst one there is. Amazingly I read online where it doesnt really cost them hardly any more money to produce a movie anamorphically, its just a different setting on the equipment when they do it. really makes you wonder how ANY movie is sold if it isnt anamorphic. the highly informative story I read online compared it to the "GOOD HOUSE-KEEPING SEAL OF APPROVAL" on an apliance, the way it was in the old days, you would remember this if you are old enough. I'm 53 so I know how we used to look to see that tag on the cord before we bought the junky one that was going to spark and not work a week later. Also amazingly, I have old movie made many years ago that are anamorphic and they look fabulous! How could they ruin a great movie like this one???? and no one does anything about it??? I would think Michael Douglas and Annette Bening would be pounding on doors shouting at the people responsible and make them fix it. does anyone have Michael's phone number? ummm, maybe you better send me Annette's number instead, she is soooo dreamy, lol. I'm pretty sure I'd rather talk to her any day, you ladies can call Michael, lol....more info
  • Good Movie - Bad DVD
    The movie itself is good and worth seeing. As has been mentioned by some other reviewers, the DVD quality is terrible. First, it is letter-boxed, which means if you have a wide screen TV you will have about 2/3 black screen with a little tiny movie in the middle. Second, the DVD transfer is terrible. There are all sorts of very visible artifacts throughout the entire movie, and they are very distracting. In sum, 5 stars for the movie, and 1 star for the quality of the DVD....more info
  • Simplistic Liberal Bias Spoils Potential Greatness
    With top acting, directing and production values, it's a shame Rob Reiner and his writer put liberal posturing over all else in The American President. Instead of providing Douglas with a worthly conservative foe, the lazy script practically puts a big "S" on Douglas' chest while presenting the Richard Dreyfuss character (of course the only conservative in the movie) as a shallow, manipulative bully. The nadir of the movie, though, is when Douglas' character utters the line about american voters that they will drink sand in the desert "...because they don't know the difference." So there, Reiner and writer Sorkin think the average american voter in an imbecile--just what you would expect from the unfettered narcissism of Hollywood.

    So, does the movie work? As a romantic comedy, it skates by on the undeniable charisma and chemistry of the leads. And no one said Reiner wasn't a slick director, moving his movie along at a brisk pace. If you have a liberal bent, you'll probably love this movie beyond question. If you are remotely conservative...or even moderate...you'll rate it o.k.



    ...more info
  • nana
    Great movie. Everyone should see this at LEAST once. My family has watched it hundreds of times. It's a classic . ...more info
  • Fine actors, poor movie
    All these actors have distinguished themselves in many other roles and Sorkin has written some great tv (West Wing, anyone?), which is why it is sad to say that this is a poor film. Some good lines of dialogue cannot cover the preposterousness of the story, with a president too liberal for conservatives and sometimes too conservative for liberals!! It swerves too much and really only gets going in the last five minutes. In fact, it ends JUST as it was about to get really freakin' interesting!!...more info
  • The American President
    Wonderful movie! I purchased this for my daughter so she wouldn't take my copy!...more info
  • Love under a microscope
    It's hard enough dating, but imagine the pressure of having your every move scrutinized by millions of people while trying to lead the country. That is the basic premise of The American President. It is a smart romantic comedy where widower President Andrew Shepard (Micheal Douglas) pursues political strategist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening) while trying to pass important legislation and get himself re-elected. Aaron Sorkin and company did a great job with the accuracy of the Oval Office aspect and the sexual tension between the lead characters. There are lots of great one-liners. The cast is pretty amazing and includes Michael J. Fox, John Mahoney, Wendie Malick, Richard Dreyfus, Martin Sheen, and Joshua Malina (reunited with Sorkin on Sports Night and West Wing). It is romantic without being sappy and clever without being snobby. I could watch this movie every week and not get tired of it....more info
  • Cary Grant Lives
    This is a very pleasant romantic comedy, reminisent of the old Cary Grant screwball affairs, light on the sex & heavy on the budding relationship. This blending of film making elements, so prevalent during the golden age of movies, makes a 2 hr film seem far too short; whereas, today, most 2 hr films seem far too long. Douglas, the younger, & Sheen, Fox, etc. hold together like a fine tuned car for the pictures length. Also, good casting for the right love interest, not too old, or too young & of the right degree of sophistication.

    The story line was very tastefully done, being that the subject(s) is/are the President of the USA & the White House. Of course a charming & youngish First Man of the Land would have to be a Democratic man of the people. The Oval Office romantic encounters made me think of other such factual affairs in this local & as I recall they also involed Democratic Presidents, so I guess that it is entirely fitting that this was also the case.

    All in all, this old timer thinks that this is one of the best romantic comedy movies turned out in quite awhile. A very enjoyable watch....more info
  • lefty wish fulfilment? Maybe. Great romantic comedy? Sure!
    Politcally slick, but immensely enjoyable, more so than its more serious and less romantic version - "The Contender". In this flick, Michael Douglas plays Andy Schepard, Hollywood's version of the perfect president - a center-left people-pleaser who doesn't let his Stanford education (under a nobel-prize winning economist) or his perfect grades get between him and the soul of the American people. The movie starts off with his presidency on a high note - with the state of the union address in the offing, Schepard's enjoying unprecedented approval ratings, and we can immediately sense why - he's smart and surrounds himself with a staff of fast talking, fast thinking wiseguys. A widower, Schepard he falls for Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Benning), a shark of a consultant who works for a DC-based lobby committed to environmental protection. Mixing politics and pleasure, Schepard courts Wade even as he pushes for Congress to pass groundbreaking legislation Wade's lobby has been seeking for years. The president's foes (arch conservatives in the fatcat mold) seize on the affair as a way to take down the popular President and the liberal causes. Conscious but apathetic to the minds of Americans who don't approve of the widowed Chief's extra-marrital romancing (of a liberal, no less), the all-too decent Schepard remains silent about his relationship, determined not to let the business of statesmanship become bogged down by meaningless debates about "character" - even as both become touch-stones of the vile neo-conservative Bob Rumson (Richard Dreyfuss, in a thankless role). Although the script plays up the idea that the president's private life is his own, it also blurs the lines between Schepard's and Wade's two relationships (lovers on the one hand, president-to-lobbyist on the other) making it impossible to separate the Chief's private life with his public existence and compounding the problem by having Schepard propose a complex deal with Benning under which he will push for her environmental protection bill if she can guarantee enough support for it. Schepard is under pressure to pass his own pet-bill, a deceptively revolutionary anti-crime package, but figures that he can sell Congress on his bill and Sydney's if she can guarantee enough support for her own. When Schepard's romance so erodes his popularity that he'd be hard-pressed to pass either bill alone (even when Sydney fullfills her half of the deal, and signs on a hated triumvirate of auto-industry pols behind her environmental bill), the President finds himself in a deep dilemma that touches on his love for Wade and his duty to his office.

    Liberal wish fulfillment? Not a doubt. The film is also incredibly disengenuous - positing Rumson at the center of a bunch of fatcat republicans who sip brandy while considering the unprincipled ends to which they will use Wade against Schepard, as if they had nothing more appropriate to use against him. (The film summarily dismisses Rumson and fellow right-wingers as backward political hacks who go for the jugular and base their popularity on the votes of older nostalgic Americans.) The biggest cheat is Schepard's staunch unwillingness to confront the vile Bob Rumson directly on the "character" issue. "American" is a film about politicians, but it's not really all that political - it touches on issues like fossil-fuel emissions, flag burning and Uzis bought by 8 year olds not so much to deal with them as to remind us where each of the characters stood. Since the film is largely if surprisingly apolitical the character issue is pretty much the only real nugget the script has. By keeping Schepard silent on that subject until the end of the movie, the script saves both sides the trouble of really tearing to pieces the question of whether a president can sleep with the proponents of legislation pending in Congress without raising a few well-reasoned doubts. By then, there's only one side given adequate time to really deal with that question (which one, you ask?) Instead, the script's GOP, the brandy-sipping fatcats, never utter a word about gun-control, abortion, church-state separation, corporate welfare or the environment - something even liberals can't believe. While Schepard prefers to ignore "the character issue", the script immediately hits upon it - sure to remind us of his top-flight education (his "Stepford Child" grades), his integrity, his honest-to-goodness honesty and how much everybody seems to like him. All of our heroes are smart and funny, and even the slings and arrows of political misfortune just roll of their backs.

    If the movie rises above its lefty addictions for even this right-wing fundamentalist, it's because it's west-wing wish fulfillment is pretty much unconcealed. Think of this flick as a liberal version of "Red Dawn" - a movie that doesn't so much change people's minds as reinforce what their minds were. Gun-control liberals can sit through that flick because they know going in that it's about a bunch of rural farm kids with guns staring down the Red Army; - ditto in "President" for card-carrying NRA members who get pretty much what they expected, politically speaking in any event. The clever repartee of its characters (especially David Paymer and Michael J. Fox as his consultants - one being fearless, the other seeing portents of doom everywhere) keeps the film from getting to heavy and messagey. Nor could the story be dismissed as apologia for the Lewinsky affair - with Wade's position as a lobbyist making her relationship with Schepard look more questionable (not less) than "Monica-gate". Schepard is no Bill Clinton, Sydney Ellen Wade is no Monica. In short, this is a flick even Bob Rumson can enjoy....more info
  • MOVIE
    It is quite a cute movie. Not at all like the sex movies that Annette Bening has made in recent years. I recommend it at a price of around 10 to 12 dollars....more info
  • Pleased
    I don't know how you could improve on perfection.
    My item arrived almost a week ahead of the estimate. It was in perfect condition. Over-all my experience for this purchase was overwhelming positive. I would recommend this seller to anyone, anywhere for any item.

    Thank you for your obvious hard work and attention to details.

    A.R....more info
  • The Perfect President (if you have liberal views)
    "The American President" is one of my confort movies...you know, the ones you watch over and over to cheer yourself up when you want to escape the world. Michael Douglas is the President I wish we had, courageous, funny, extremely bright and able to inspire a nation to step up to its challenges and face them honestly. As this is a romance there is a equally focused and idealistic love interest played by Annette Benning who does not water down her character or make her a simpering trophy wife.

    The rest of the cast is wonderful too...Michael J. Fox, Martin Sheen and the rest of the President's "staff" are admirable, familiar characters in this nicely written script. If you are not a staunch conservative, this movie will inspire feelings of patriotism that ironically usually fall into the domain of right wing politicos....

    The American President gives you a degree of comfort that we sorely need. To paraphrase Richard Dreyfuss in the movie...."the pride is back!"...more info
  • NICE AND ROMANTIC MOVIE
    I ENJOY WATCHING MICHAEL DOUGLAS AND ANNETTE BENNING. THIS IS AN INTERESTING MOVIE, I LIKE ANNETTE IN THIS MOVIE. SHE HAS CHARECTER AND A STRONG FORM IN THIS FILM. OTHER THAN MICHAEL, HE KIND A MAKES A LITTLE OF A JOKE WHAT A PRESINDENT SHOULD DO WHEN UNDER ATTACK.

    BUT IS A ROMANTIC FILM AND MAYBE WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT IT THAT WAY, EVEN THOUGH IS INTERESTING IS NICE TO SEE THEM BOTH. ...more info
  • 2.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    If you like a movie that hides its formulaic nature and hackneyed situations behind high-class actors and the occasional witty clip, The American President is the movie for you; almost everything done well in this mediocre film was done better in the West Wing....more info
  • I really enjoyed this movie, great love story.
    The American President is a great movie, good love story.
    So many movies that are out now and in the past plus being done in the future, have so much vilonence, and to much nudity and sex in the movie
    that it is no good.
    I spent three years from 1968 to 1970 in the army and I have seen enough
    killing and war.
    This movie is by far my all time favorite movie.
    I also bought the movie Dreamer about the race horse from you folks, and that one also rates right along with The American President. ...more info
  • Totally enjoyable
    A wonderful look at the impact of the media on the lives of 'public' figures and how best to adapt to changing situations....more info
  • Wonderful Romantic Comedy
    This is a wonderful romantic comedy..right up there with Sleepless in Seattle, ect. I truly enjoyed it....more info
  • Aaron Sorkin's Tour de force
    This is one of my all time favorite movies, up there with Father Goose, It's a Wonderful Life, Sleepless in Seattle, Forrest Gump, and Funny Farm. (Yeah, I know!;-)
    The creator of West Wing, Sports Nite, and Studio 60 really demonstrates in this movie what it means to write a script that conveys not only words but all the emotions and nuances behind the words.
    Aaron Sorkin has to be the best ever at gettng the viewer completely absorbed in his screen plays. Look at West Wing's first three years versus the rest of the series...night and day. The last years were good, don't get me wrong, but those first three years, written by Sorkin, just pulled me in and kept me wishing for the next episode.
    In The American President the final news conference speech alone is worth the price of admission. That scene and the scene from the West Wing when the President reminds the target of his conversation that "when the President stands, no one sits." (You WW aficionadoes will know what I'm talking about.) Those two scenes are among the best screenplay writing ever.
    Needless to say, I highly recommend this movie....more info
  • Dose of "could happen" vs Dose of fun? (or both?)
    Even though this movie has already been dissected, chewed up, and/or spit out; I would like to say that this is an enjoyable movie. One can take it seriously or not depending on how politically involved one is (or how politically incorrect one is). This movie does have a dose of reality about but it is for fun. I have found movies in the main-stream that have mixed reviews are worth investingating. Don't take it so seriously and ENJOY!...more info
  • Liberal Garbage
    The acting by all concerned is superb. The storyline however, is blatant liberal garbage, such as the president (Michael Douglas) proclaiming that the ACLU is an organization dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights, please, how sick can this get. But, what can one expect from the wackiest of liberal fanatics, director Rob Reiner, and a cast of Hollywood left wing nuts like Martin Sheen and super wacko-liberal Warren Beatty's wife, to name a couple. Liberals will salivate and eat it up, but conservatives should consider this as nothing more than Hollywood's ongoing promotion of liberal propaganda, a-la "The Day After Tomorrow". Yuk !!...more info
  • DPollard
    I love this movie. Regardless of your politics this does provide some insight into the political process. Plus it is a great love story. ...more info
  • Yup, I love it.
    Since most of the other reviews are wordy, I don't have to be. Yay!

    I adore this movie. I'm a huge ("yooge") fan of The West Wing, and since this film is essentially The West Wing (with a few characters in different roles), I really had no choice. Hee!

    Granted, there are some continuity errors and a couple of "What the. . .?" moments, but what movie doesn't have those? C'mon, it's Annette Bening and Michael Douglas, ferheavens sake! I could watch this one 20 times in a row and still not tire of it. Then again, don't ask me how many times I've watched my West Wing DVD's, okay?...more info
  • A bit cheesy and cliched, but I can see why people love it
    Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, The American President should have been considered for other Oscars as well (maybe even Best Picture, although I realize it's not the great drama of the century). Nevertheless, The American President is a fun romantic comedy reminiscent of the old Frank Capra movies. Although not handled with kid gloves, the president comes across as fairly shy and innocent in his relationship with a Washington lobbyist, creating a charming contrast considering the power of his office. Released in 1995, The American President is one of a number of mainstream movies favorably focused on the presidency, with Dave and Air Force One leading the list (did liberal Hollywood producers hope some of the favorable light would rub off on Clinton?) That's debatable. But what's not debatable is that The American President is one of the best romantic comedies of the decade...

    Michael Douglas plays the role of Andrew Shepard, widower and President of the United States. In the political world, Shepard is king - enjoying unprecedented highs in his job approval rating. But the president's private world is empty. The president's daughter is the only close person in his personal life, and he greatly misses his wife. Following an environmental policy meeting with Washington lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), Shepard considers asking her out. But he takes advice from aides A.J. MacInerney (Martin Sheen) and Lewis Rothschild (Michael J. Fox) en route to making his decision.

    When the president does arrange a date with Sydney, her presence at the White House is leaked to the media, and the president's approval rating falls (I'm not exactly sure why, seeing as how the American public would have to be totally deranged to forbid a widower from dating). The growing scandal is further compounded by opposition leader Senator Bob Rumson (Richard Dreyfuss) who uses the scandal as a launching pad for his own campaign to win the presidency. Will the good guys win, or will the evil Rumson take down the president?

    The plot structure of The American President is nothing new, and the screenplay itself is far from masterful. But what makes this film so successful is the way in which the cast breathes life into the dialogue. Michael Douglas, as President Andrew Shepard, shows the audience why he is a Hollywood titan. His presidential demeanor is a West Wing prelude which should make Martin Sheen proud, yet his interaction with Sydney Ellen Wade and his daughter Lucy (Shawna Waldron) paint a human picture of a tough political character. The other half of the equation, Annette Bening, plays her role to perfection as well, transforming from the rough political creature of a hard-nosed Washington lobbyist to a giggly school girl swept off her feet by a great guy (who, incidentally, happens to be the president).

    One of the more interesting aspects of The American President is that the screenwriters made Andrew Shepard a widower and not a divorcee. Despite the overall acceptance of divorce in current society, the film wouldn't have worked if the president were divorced. Subconsciously, it would implant an idea in some members of the audience that he's a dog. That's an interesting footnote in my opinion. Also of further note are the appearances of Michael J. Fox (who later starred as a political operative in the TV series Spin City) and Martin Sheen (who later starred as the president in the TV series West Wing). Did The American President peak their interest in such roles, or were they already pursuing those types of roles? Either way, The American President will delight and entertain audiences of all ages, and that's why it's a definite must-see movie...

    The DVD Report...more info
  • A Fantasy That Transcends Politics
    This movie has long been my favorite. By the way if you're scanning this to figure out why I only gave this film four stars, it's because of the DVD format. No special features whatsoever. Hey Rob! Climb down off your wallet and do a commentary with Aaron. Annette, Michael, hows about a little interview or perhaps another commentary. Delete Scenes? Outtakes? I want to see Michael Douglas trip over the phrase "Upper Bi-cuspid Region." ::Climbs down off his soap box::

    The title of my review says it all in a nutshell. If you're looking for Air Force One, Executive Decision or Thirteen Days, the buck does not stop here. This movie is a fairy tale. Think Ivan Reitman's "Dave." That movie starts with the Subtitle "Once Upon a Time." Exactly. It's Boy meets girl on a grand scale. It doesn't matter that President Andrew Shepherd is a Democrat, and Bob Rumsom (By the way, can you imagine "President Rumson?" Ick.) is a Republican. Rumson is the Antagonist (all good movies have one) period.

    Richard Dreyfuss plays an exquisitely delicious villan, using President Shephard's new found love of Sydney Ellen Wade, for his own political gain.

    Martin Sheen as Chief of Staff AJ MacInerney, now best known as President Josiah Bartlet on the West Wing, seems to be a fore-runner for the President Bartlet's own COS Leo McGarry (After all Aaron Sorkin [who is GOD] did write this movie and the series West Wing). Sheen is brilliant as Douglas' conscience and confidant.

    Michael J Fox' character, Lewis Rothschild, and David Paymer's Leon Kodak, are Shephard's Prism. They show Shephard in Black and White, with no punches pulled, where he's at, where he's going and how to get there.

    The other characters, while having lessor roles, are written and performed flawlessly, especially Wendie Mallick, Samantha Mathis, Josh Malina, and Anna Deavere Smith-- the last two of whom are also West Wing Alums. Lastly John Mahoney, always the consumate actor round out this amazing cast with a stellar performance of the secondary or quasi-antagonist.

    Buy this movie with no political Axe to grind. Buy this movie without your reality blinders on-- Yes, I know it's a ridiculous premise, but so is the guy in a white suit with the crewcut sitting on a bench, and look what Zemekis got out of that one. It's a FAIRY TALE. It's FICTION. IT'S A MOVIE. Relax. Enjoy the film....more info
  • One of the best ever
    The American President is a perfect romantic comedy because instead of being inane, it is intelligent, witty and thoughtful, and the story is populated by intelligent, witty, thoughtful characters. One of my favorite movies of all time....more info
  • American President
    Thank you I enjoyed it there seemed to have no problems in the playing.
    Came in good condition. Thank you. jh...more info
  • The American President
    This is a wonderful, very uplifting movie. I have watched it many times and never tire of it. I have given it as a gift to many people and they in turn have enjoyed it also. I highly recommend it and have given it a 5 star rating....more info
  • Politics just totally wrecked the movie for me...
    My mother and I have a certain few chick flicks that, no matter what, whenever on is on TV we will stop and watch it. The American President was one of them. I must have seen it twenty times. We loved it, and I considered it a truly great movie.

    ... then I grew up. We watched it in my government class because our teacher was sick, and I noticed with horror... that this guy, the man we're supposed to be rooting for, is a Democrat! He defends ACLU, he is for "gun control," he cavorts around with environmental lobbyists! How can I root for someone who stands against all of my core beliefs? Then, not only that, the guy who shares MY beliefs, the Republican, is totally demonized. He is old and stodgy and Michael Douglas constantly makes fun of him. Which, I guess looking back, is the good ol' liberal way of handling people who know what they're talking about.

    And THEN there's the romance. Now, okay, widower President dating is one thing. But President putting off going to stop an airline strike to go buy flowers for his girlfriend? President not doing ANYTHING to assure the public that their relationship would not affect anything he did? President NEVER giving ANY addresses whatsoever, not even when freaking bombing Libya? And not only this, but the girl he is seeing is a LOBBYIST (environmental too, BLECH). Whenever his cabinet members were discussing important matters, all he would ask is things like "Do you think she likes me?" He was more concerned with this hot redhead than matters of state. Mr. President, what you do behind closed doors is your own business, but when you let it get you distracted when you are the leader of our FREAKING COUNTRY it gets a little out of hand. Oh, and this girl burned the flag once. Y'know, the American flag. And Mr. Democrat President DEFENDS her. We're supposed to sympathize with them. I can't. I tried, but I can't. We're supposed to be like "OMG THOSE EVIL REPUBLICANS! Yeah, why AREN'T you a member of the ACLU? And why WON'T you support this ban on fossil fuels? And WHY are you arming our druglords with your evil second amendment! FOR SHAME!" I don't know about you guys, but I just.. can't.

    I'll miss this movie, I really will. But maybe they should have tried less to force leftist ideals down my throat, and tried harder to win me over to the love story. And maybe made the President seem a little more than a lovesick teenager. Like when he asks his Sec of State who talked with Sydney on the phone: "Did she say anything about me?" And, exasperated, he says "No, but I'll ask her before study hall!" That sums up my feelings pretty well.

    Good thing we didn't get to the ending where I'd have to hear his little self-righteous speech. I probably would have thrown up.

    ...more info
  • Idealistic presidential relationships and politics
    Before the successful run of the series 'West Wing', Aaron Sorkin created another presidential drama for the big screen, entitled 'The American President' (the film co-stars Martin Sheen, who would go on to be the president, Josiah Bartlett, in the television series). This is one of the first fictional accounts of life in the White House to concentrate more on the private lives of the people who work there, particularly the president, more than the politics or policies that make up the work of the place. (I like to pair this film for viewing with 'Dave', a comedy starring Kevin Kline who stands in for a president who had a stroke; this also deals in a different way with the private lives of those in the White House.)

    This film is very well done in terms of detail; the sets for the White House are incredible, and the footage for placing shots taken around the actual White House and around Washington are truly remarkable. The Oval Office set was constructed for the film 'Dave', and is also the one that continues to be used on the West Wing, along with other sets. A bit of trivia: When Shepherd first calls Wade to ask her out on a date, she doesn't believe him, and hangs up the phone. When Shepherd rang back, he gave Wade a number to call him back - 456-1414 - which is in fact the number to the White House switchboard (with a D.C. area code 202).

    Also, for a film that doesn't concentrate on the issues of policy, the backdrop of the policy struggles are also very interesting to watch. For such dramas, policy issues must necessarily be bare-bones in terms of presentation, but one does get a sense of the politics involved when the president has to make a tough choice between two favoured projects as to which one is going to get his support. In the end (and I'm not giving away the ending, because it remains unresolved) President Shepherd does come to support both projects, but this is intended as a more feel-good move to set the film on a course of idealism and principle winning out over politics - in other words, a Hollywood ending.

    President Shepherd is a liberal president, but quite distinct from being a copy of Clinton. We get the sense that character debates for Clinton are being played out by writer Aaron Sorkin and producer/director Rob Reiner (one of the leading directors in Hollywood), but they don't quite match, given the different personal situations for Shepherd and Clinton. Shepherd is a widower, whose wife died during the campaign. He has a high-school aged daughter, played by Shawna Waldron (who is remarkably well-adjusted for being someone who both lost her mother and being a politician's child), and tries to navigate the difficulties of being a single parent and president at the same time.

    Enter into the scene, rather near the president's first term of office, Sydney Ellen Wade (played by Annette Bening). Wade is a professional lobbyist (who, we find out later, makes more money than the president - this is not unusual in politics) hired to bolster the environmental lobby's efforts to pass major legislation. Wade is an attractive, single lady used to the rough-and-tumble of politics, although occasionally seems a bit na?ve, as does Shepherd, as their relationship deepens and the press papparazi begin to circle. Her appearance on the scene knocks Shepherd out of his complacency, and he begins a courtship that is in full view of the world press, as well as the conservative challengers to the election, that is happening in one year's time.

    Michael Douglas plays the role of the president with panache but also with a bit of imperiousness; perhaps this cannot be avoided by anyone who wants such an august role, (in real life or in acting) but there is a tension between the idea of the liberal, for-the-people president who then also acts in a rather elitist and condescending manner. Douglas's main opponent politically is Senator Bob Rumson (doubtlessly a character drawn from the public image of Bob Dole), who is presented in a very monochromatic way (the complexity of the conservative side would be shown in Sorkin's series, 'The West Wing' in more detail, but still suffers from bias). Richard Dreyfuss plays this role well, but is prevented from developing this character as much more than a nemesis both by the writing and the on-screen time constraints.

    Martin Sheen plays Andrew Shepherd's chief of staff, A.J. MacInerney (it would have been a nice touch if MacInerney would have been the president, rather than Bartlett, for 'The West Wing'). Sheen's role is well-done, but again we see more of the personal rather than the political here - MacInerney is Shepherd's best friend in here, rather than being chief of staff. Another major role went to Michael J. Fox, who as Lewis Rothschild was really playing the character of George Stephanopoulos. Also starring is Anna Deavere Smith as press secretary (she will also go on to 'The West Wing' as National Security Advisor, the role Condaleeza Rice had prior to becoming Secretary of State.

    This is a polished film, very well done, with lots of details and a nice romantic story. It is biased in the liberal direction - many Republican friends I know like the film, but I have yet to find one who loves it. For Sorkin, this is the kind of liberal president that he'd like to have (and Bartlett on 'The West Wing' is a further extension of that), but reality rarely lives up to such ideals in any direction.

    A well-done film, with minor flaws, but good appeal.
    ...more info
  • The American President - A keeper for your DVD collection
    Both men and women will enjoy this movie. You actually can believe that Michael Douglas is the president. Not many actors can pull it off. The only thing I did not like about the movie was the president made a comment about the ACLU. Not all Americans like the organization. So there are some political issues put in the movie. But if you realize that everyone in America can have their own views, you get over it very easily. A wonderful movie that everyone will enjoy. Definitely on my top 10 list of favorite movies....more info
  • The American President Lives On!
    What fun to watch this intelligent, fun, romantic, realistic video during this intelligent, fun, romantic, realistic Presidential campaign '08 (Barack Obama, Michelle, and girls)....more info
  • Make a Date with the American President

    In the world of romantic comedies this is one of my personal favorites, ranking along side such modern classics as "You've Got Mail" and "Pretty Woman". (Yes I own all three.) It's been available on DVD for some time, and chances are you've seen it on TV. If it is new to you, then read on. The story is unusual in that it revolves around a widowed President, his pre-teen daughter and an antagonistic lobbyist to whom he's attracted. The dialog is smart, witty and funny, and the chemistry between all the principle actors is very evident. If the opening theme music and some of the players seem familiar, it's because the film was made and produced by the same people who went on to do the Emmy-winning TV series "The West Wing". (With Martin Sheen advancing from Presidential Advisor here, to the Presidency itself.) The workings of the White House, the serious decisions that have to be made, and the travails of a re-election campaign all provide an authentic backdrop to the tale of romance that is the real heart of the film. I don't want to spoil the fun of the ins and outs of the love story as it unfolds, so instead offer up a few of my favorite lines:

    "This is the White House...yes the President is expecting your call."
    "Tell her she has nice shoes, women like that."
    "No Sydney, 200 pairs of eyes are not on me, they are on you..."
    "Oh, hi Sydney... Good morning Sydney...Hi Sydney..."

    Got your attention? If so, then buy this romantic comedy that will definitely leave you in an upbeat mood when it's over. (Oh, for a Presidency like this one!) ...more info
  • The American President
    Great movie, excellent acting! Annette Benning is priceless as the love interest in this film about a widower in the White House. He seeks a relationaship with an environmental lobbyist, of all things, and though their relationship is open and above board, the politicians use it against the incumbent during his run for reelection. Politics are ugly, but truth prevails in this optimistic movie. My husband and I love this one and we have watched it many times. We always love the ending because we enjoy love winning and truth being stronger than bad politics. Easily one of my favorites. ...more info
  • Very naive and preachy...
    When I saw this film, it was so obvious that Michael Douglas's character was based on Bill Clinton, and Richard Dreyfus's character was Bob Dole. Its essential message was the President is a good guy, he's doing his best, and we should give him a break. Then Dreyfus, playing Bob Dole, attacked him for his "morals" (which the Republicans have none) because he had a girlfriend and she burned a flag at a protest in her youth. Dreyfus continually trashes Douglas until he finally stands up to him, and then everything is fine. The film ended up being a very preachy film, even though it was something I generally agree with (I did vote for Clinton, though not with great enthusiasm). I don't like when films preach. They never get their message across. They all end up very heavy handed. The film is rather naive and simplistic, but that isn't surprising, consider Aaron Sorkin wrote it (The West Wing is a horrible show, too naive and idealistic). Michael Douglas's character in real life would have sat there and "would have waited for it to blow over" (like John Kerry did when his patriotism was attacked in 2004), but as Kerry will attest to, this doesn't work. It doesn't matter if Clinton (or any other president) is a "good guy" doing his best. It depends on whether his best is good enough. This film reduces politics to silliness, and while it would be nice if politics were this easy, it isn't, and we shouldn't pretend that it is. ...more info
  • Good movie but dishonest Warner Brothers
    First I liked the movie. If you like a romantic comedy then this is good one. You must put aside any idea that it has any basis in reality. It is the expected hollywood version of the US government. If you are a liberal than you are heaven sent and if you are conservative than you are a hellbound devil who's only interest is destroying the country and starving children and old folk. In this film, you have a ultr-liberal director and the only conservative voice in the film is a monster and played by Richard Dreyfuss who has never had a conservative thought. So if you can get past the extreme bias in the film and not take it too seriously, you might enjoy it. My rating is not about the movie, it is about the distribution of the DVD by Warner Brothers. They have released three verions of the film....kind of. The first version released ten years ago indicated the film was not in enhanced widescreen. It had a poor image but was that was very common as DVDs were first coming to the marketplace. The two followup releases have claimed to be ENHANCED FOR WIDESCREEN TV...BUT WERE NOT. One version had an outer sleave that claimed this, but the actual case did not while the most recent version puts ENHANCED right on the disc insert. Both of these version are the same old version previously released. I would like to believe that this is a mistake, but it occurs too often for this to be true. What is likely more accurate is the WB intentionally mislabels the disc packaging so that owners of the old disce will buy it again, and since once it is opened it cannot be returned....FRUAD profits for WB. WB lies about the product and we simply get ripped off. ...more info
  • Smart witty banter trumps stale comedy and Bush's minions
    The American President is a wonderfully enjoyable film that conducts itself with style, verve and the grace of assured comedic narrative. Michael Douglas is commanding and presidential and Annette Bening is smart and charming. And the placement of the unavoidably naive and adolescent ploddings of romance against the stark and rigid world of politics is extremely amusing. However. . .

    In the words of Dorothy Parker, many of the other reviews on this site for The American President should not be taken lightly -- they should be thrown away with great force.

    Despite the fire and brimstone preachings of high school students and the other provincial minions that you might read here, maybe you should just see this movie and decide for yourself.

    The essential problem is that all of these reviews apparently are igorant of the draught of intelligent comedies that plagues the American film industry. Here we have an intelligent comedy with smart characters and -- god forbid -- witty banter.

    Is it idealistic? Yes. Is it politically slanted? Yes. Will anyone who watches it run the risk of being brainwashed? Not unless they have the resilience of a bowl of pudding. For anyone who is petrified of Superbowl halftime shows and SpongeBob Squarepants, maybe you shouldn't venture into such adult territory. (Mind you that the only poorly enforced stipulation of this site to post reviews is to click on a box to ensure that you are, in fact, over the age of 13.) No one single film is going to be able to satisfy a large -- and divided -- audience merely on the terms of political rigamarole. As one reviewer said in a more limited and political fashion, maybe we should judge the human story here and not the political one: A man who conducts himself with dignity and strength, who is looking to find love and happiness amid the societal mess of conflicts of interest and judgement.

    If you can think for yourself and you would like an alternative to movies glutted with scatalogical humor, junevile sexual antics and cartoon sensibilities, then watch this film. For anyone who enjoys The West Wing, Sports Night or comedies that involve thought and the love of language and repartee, you'll find an enjoyable couple of hours with this movie.

    And the other reviewers on this site should perhaps look beyond the limits of their political agendas, which have obviously tainted their opinions of this film. I'm sure your energies would be much better spent on attacking SpongBob. ...more info