The American President

In election years like this one, it is easy to get drawn into partisan debates and pointing fingers.  What seems to be lost is the effect of such actions on the participants and how those things interfere with doing the job they were elected to do.

Most everyone who has watched TV over the past 10-15 years is familiar with Aaron Sorkin.  To say he is liberal is an understatement.  As the writer of this movie, did he sprinkle in stereotypical pro-liberal messages? Yes.   Does it really matter?  No.  Like his beliefs or not, Sorkin is a masterful storyteller, and the story he is telling is one of romance.

Michael Douglas plays the widowed US President who was elected without having to go through mudslinging because his wife died about a year before the election.  As he is running the country, he is also raising a daughter.  Annette Bening’s character is a lobbyist trying to get a tougher emissions bill supported by the President.  As they meet, sparks fly and romance ensues.

As the two try to navigate the rough waters of a new relationship, external factors like the re-election campaign, a competing bill, and a military action keep cropping up.  What guides Douglas’s character through is the supporting cast led by Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox.  The relationship between Douglas and Sheen really hits home for me since it is the definition of the one I have with my buddy, Brian (I am Douglas and he is Sheen).

One of the things that I really liked is that Democrat and Republican affiliation was never mentioned for any of the characters; instead it was about the issues and the people.  Very refreshing.

The DVD has few extras.

My advice: See this movie, regardless of which party you belong to; the monologue at the end is hands-down one of the best, if not the best, monologues on film in the past 15 years.

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