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With: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, Samantha Mathis, Shawna Waldron, David Paymer, Anne Haney, Richard Dreyfuss, Nina Siemaszko, Wendie Malick, Beau Billingslea, Gail Strickland, Joshua Malina, Clement von Franckenstein, Efrat Lavie, John Mahoney, Taylor Nichols, John Mahon
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Directed by: Rob Reiner
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some strong language
Running Time: 114
Date: 11/08/1995
IMDB

The American President (1995)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Romantic-in-Chief

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Writer extraordinaire Aaron Sorkin broke into the movies by adapting his play A Few Good Men to the screen; that led to his original script for The American President (1995), and his fascination with political process. This movie will seem so gentle and innocent compared to today's headlines, but perhaps it's a good antidote. The story wonders what would happen if a United States president became widowed during office; could he re-marry? What would the public think? So President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) is running for re-election and meets lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening). They make a deal involving a controversial environmental bill, and the president must learn to stand up for what he believes in, or lose her. It's a delightful, escapist fantasy, in which good guys win and bullies don't. Interestingly, Martin Sheen co-stars as the White House Chief of Staff, and went on to play POTUS four years later in Sorkin's TV series The West Wing. Rob Reiner directs, with his usual briskness and brightness.

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