American President, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +4

Content: -2

This funny, light-hearted romantic comedy centers around a widowed president of the United States (Michael Douglas) caught up in the dating game. He meets Sydney (Annette Bening), a feisty lobbyist for a powerful environmentalist group, just as he is coming up for re-election. A Democrat, his goal is to get Congress to pass his crime bill designed to woo votes from conservatives. The president is captivated by the idealistic, charming Sydney, who feels the environment should be the country's number one priority. Watching the most powerful leader in the western world agonize like a school boy over calling Sydney for a date is hilarious. Equally funny is her flippant assumption it's some kind of joke. The White House scenes and the bustling, hectic activity surrounding the Office of the President are so realistic that they give credibility to the story. A strong supporting cast includes Martin Sheen as the president's chief of staff, Michael J. Fox as his speech writer and Richard Dreyfuss as his Republican opponent. THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT is definitely told from a liberal point of view, but those who just want to be entertained will not be disappointed.

The entertainment value of the film gets high marks, but once again, a few flaws keep this from being a great movie. The President and Sydney become sexually involved, which is treated as acceptable. She is obviously his first serious romance since his wife died and becomes a regular overnight guest of the President. There are no sex scenes, but it is implied once as Sydney entices the President to have sex. The President's teenage daughter is aware of her father's affair, and seems to approve. Once the press and the Republicans get wind of the situation, the whole world knows about it. Sydney's past is then put under scrutiny, and pictures of her burning the American flag 20 years earlier add fuel to the flame. But instead of the President looking bad, the film's liberal slant makes the conservatives the villains. Unnecessary profanities, obscenities and crudities pollute the otherwise clever dialogue. THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT's liberal slant on sex and politics, plus its foul language make it a questionable choice for discerning audiences.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (17) times - Mild 11, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (11) times (f-word 3, s-word 6, other 2)

Profanity: Several (6) times - Regular 2, Exclamatory 4

Violence: None

Sex: None but implied once (unmarried couple)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (sexual innuendo, woman entices man to have sex)

Drugs: None

Other: Liberal political views promoted; conservatives portrayed negatively; ongoing love affair treated positively

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and adults

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