The American President (1995)

Rating 15
Length 1Hr 54
Release 8.10.1995
Director Rob Reiner
About Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It’s all aboveboard, but “politics is perception” and sparks fly anyway.

The Good

  • The cast is incredible. Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Michael J Fox and even Joshua Malian among others make up this stellar cast. Oh and lets not forget our antagonists Richard Dreyfuss and John Mahoney who do a delightful job at making us hate them.
  • Once I got over the fact that Martin Sheen was not Bartlett, I found his character the most charming and fun presence within the film. He always has a smart response and he even recites Green Eggs and Ham!
  • This is a fairytale. It’s a romance film dressed as a political movie. I love that. There’s no woman in need of saving and the prince has earned his place rather than gaining his privilege through blood. But there’s still ballgowns, dancing and butterflies.
  • I absolutely love that one of the key plot threads is global warming. How the hell is Jane Fonda being arrested every Friday when the world was recognising this as a problem in 1995?! 
  • It’s a very interesting watch in light of the recent news regarding Harry and Meghan and the stress they feel under.

The Bad

  • There’s a narrative thread about the president being able to get flowers. It’s rather charming actually, even if it does go a little too far with the first scene and him being walked through the order process. However, towards the end of the film, he goes to the florist in person to prove he was who he said he was. The woman, upon realising who he is; passes out. It’s a tad too silly for me and stands out against the tone of the film.

The Ugly

  • I found Sydney a little of a muddled character and she was certainly made out to be rather annoying and flappy rather than the self assured pitbull she’d later described as. I guess what I’m saying is that I found it hard to marry up how she’s described to how she’d portrayed. I don’t see a distinct change in the character to warrant the comment “I hired a pitbull, not a prom queen.” She seems like the Miss World contender from start to finish.

Final Thoughts

I want more movies like this. Incredible casting, inoffensive narrative and a quality script. I wasn’t a fan of the leading lady’s performance but it didn’t stop me enjoying the film on the whole.

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