The American President
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Product Description

The world's most powerful man has met his match! Michael Douglas is the widower President wooing environmental lobbyist Annette Bening in this romantic hit by Rob Reiner.Running Time: 115 min.System Requirements:Starring: Michael Douglas Anette Bening Martin Sheen Michael J. Fox Anna Deavere Smith Samantha Mathis Shawna Waldron and David Paymer. Directed By: Rob Reiner Running Time: 115 Min. Color. This film is presented in "Widescreen" format. Copyright 1999 Warner Home Video.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: COMEDY Rating: PG-13 UPC: 053939255027

What sounds like the high-concept romantic comedy pitch from hell--widower president falls for smart lobbyist while the world watches--is actually intelligent, charming, touching, and quite funny. Granted, it's wish fulfillment all the way (when was the last time you saw a president who was truly presidential?), but in the capable hands of writer Aaron Sorkin (TV's Sports Night) and director Rob Reiner, The American President is incredibly enjoyable entertainment with quite a few ideas about both romance and the government. Michael Douglas stars as the president, who after three years in office starts thinking about the possibility of dating. When he auspiciously encounters cutthroat environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), sparks begin to crackle and the two begin a tentative but heartfelt romance. Of course, his job gets in the way--their first kiss is interrupted by a Libyan bombing--but darn it if these two kids aren't going to try and make it work! However, they hadn't counted on the president's Republican antagonist (Richard Dreyfuss), who starts carping about family values. The predictable plot--Douglas finally goes to bat for his lady and his country--is leavened by Sorkin's wonderful, snappy dialogue and a light touch from the usually subtle-as-a-sledgehammer Reiner. Both manage to create a believable White House-office atmosphere (with a crack staff including Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, and Samantha Mathis) as well as a plausible and funny dating scenario. The true success of the movie, though, rides squarely on Douglas and Bening; this is unequivocally Douglas's best comedic performance (ergo his best performance, period) and Bening, usually such a good bad girl, takes a standard career-woman role and fleshes it out magnificently. You can see in an instant why Douglas would fall for her. One of the best unsung romantic comedies of the '90s. --Mark Englehart

Customer Reviews:

  • 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
  • An affair to remember, The american president & Love affair
    I was about to get in touch with you because my purchase has been a disaster. All 3 DVDs are not compatible with the European standards, and it says on the back of at least one of them that the item are not allowed to be sold outside USA and Canada. I did of course not recognice this before I had given them away as a present to my parents, they had for such a long time wanted these movies. It was a sad moment when they put the first DVD in the DVD player. So they are of course all unwrapped because I was sertain that a well known company like yours did not fool around with theyr customers......I am so dissapointed.I had to pay toll on them as well when they came to Norway, so if I get 3 new ones send I will have to pay toll once more???? Then the purchase is becoming rather expensive for me.
    So what can you do to make amends? I am rather angry about this.
    Rango...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
  • 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
  • Is there a conspiracy to prevent a decent version of this film from being released on DVD?
    Still non-anamorphic? I know there's been a conspiracy to keep us from having an actual decent President this century, but can we at least have a decent President for our home theaters? How about it, Warner Brothers? I will not own a copy until this rather inexpensive process is carried out....more info
  • Rob the director missed a great opportunity...
    While this is an enjoyable, successful political/romantic comedy as is, it could have been much deeper and richer. Rob Reiner could have made either the president or the female lobbyist a strong conservative, and the film would have benefitted greatly from the clash between political philosophy and sexual attraction. Instead, he took the easy but duller path of having Michael Douglas's president and Annette Benning's lobbyist both lean toward the liberal side. The conservative politicians are the bad guys, of course. I am a moderate Democrat myself, but I would have liked to see a less predictable script....more info
  • Love this movie
    I do prefer the plastic cases - you know, the ones that are plastic on both sides. This one has the cardboard front....more info
  • The American President (1995)
    Director: Rob Reiner
    Cast: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, Samantha Mathis, Shawna Waldron, David Paymer, Richard Dreyfuss.
    Running Time: 114 minutes
    Rated PG-13 for some strong language.

    Rob Reiner's `The American President', is a refreshing look at the controversial and sometimes boring subject of politics. This movie also does more. It has a wonderful love story, with a very comedic feel, which is different to other romantic movies I have seen. I am sure that being `The President of the United States' is arduous task at the best of times. However this film gives a much different look at what it means to be the US president, in the public eye and in private as well.

    When US President Andrew Shepherd, quite unexpectedly, falls in love with Sydney Ellen Wade, an environmental lobbyist, he must overcome obstacles not faced by average citizens; he must worry that the public's right to know will collide with the desire for personal privacy. Political crises are different than personal ones and somehow the American President alone must find a way to balance time to do his job, for the love of his country with his love for an incredible woman. It is obvious that this movie's main stars, that being Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) and Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Benning), steal most of the limelight. There roles as politicians are so believable, it allows them to do so. The film, with its continuous delightful humor and charm, manages to make light of relatively simple tasks for normal human beings who are not the president, such buying flowers or calling up a girl for a date, buth are thoroughly difficult for the Commander in Chief.

    The screenplay was well written for this movie by Aaron Sorkin, who does a stupendous job interwining the political tension amongst Shepherd and his nearest competitor (Richard Dreyfuss) and the relationship tension that occurs between the president and Wade. The supporting cast for Douglas and Benning in `The American President' is first-class. A.J MacInerney (Martin Sheen) is the president's right-hand man, Lewis Rothschild (Michael J. Fox) is the president's conscience, with a brilliant scene of retaliating remarks between Douglas and Fox close to the end of the movie, Robin McCall (Anna Deavere Smith) is the press secretary, Leon Kodak (David Paymer) is his pollster and Janie Basdin (Samantha Mathis) is his personal secretary. I also enjoyed the role of the president's daughter `Lucy' (well played by Shawna Waldron). Her character had wisdom that her Father needed and was a good change to see from time to time.

    The political feel this film had was also a highlight, handling such issues as the environment via Sydney's character and gun control through the president character in the most professional way. The final speech of the president's, is an extremely powerful moment and one that shows a commanding presence from Douglas as the lead. Directed flawlessly by Reinter, "The American President" is a romantic comedy that takes us away from the political corruption that surrounds our world and reminds us of the genuine good in people; even the president. If you want to see a good night's entertainment, then `The American President' is the movie just for you. Funny, heartwarming, beautifully acted, and splendidly executed....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
  • Wonderful Romantic Comedy
    This is a wonderful romantic comedy..right up there with Sleepless in Seattle, ect. I truly enjoyed it....more info
  • Cute romantic comedy BUT...
    I find the lines "You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I'm gonna convince Americans that I'm right, and I'm gonna get the guns." some of the most frightening I have ever heard. Imagine high government officials, backed by their armed bodyguards, coming to you door to intimidate you into behaving according to their wishs. This fascist rant seriously detracts from the rest of the picture. And Richard Dreyfus as a mean Old Republican? He is just not that good of an actor. Stick with the romance and check your Big Brother mentality at the door....more info
    Before Aaron Sorkin brought us THE WEST WING on TV, he scripted this wonderfully evocative script. Under Rob Reiner's astute direction, THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT is marvelous entertainment, a chick flick to be sure, but still a film that anyone can enjoy. Michael Douglas gives one of his finest performances as the President, a widower with a conscience and a sense of humor. He falls for an environmental lobbyist, played with skill and finesse by a radiant Annette Bening. His character is attacked by an uncredited Richard Dreyfuss who plans to use this relationship to defeat Douglas in the upcoming election. Without the talent of creator Sorkin and the director/cast, this could have been a treacly maudln mismash. But it's oh so good. Helping out is the tremendous supporting cast: Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox (who is brilliant); Samantha Mathis. They all come together to make THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT a truly regal experience....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
  • Another of my favorite movies
    Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, and Directed by Rob Reiner! It just doesn't get much better than this.

    This is a smart movie and I like smart movies. The dialog is what makes this movie work and the casting is perfect. Yes this is a liberal movie and I amd a conservative republican. Nothing in this movie came close to changing my political stance, on the contrary it was so blaitent it was funny. But the love story is good, the story flows well from beginning to end, and the politics of the office are exposed an interesting. The only thing I would have hoped for is they didn't jump into the sack so easily. It also never made sense to me that the American public would turn against a president who had lost his wife and was finding a new companion after a sufficient waiting period. In fact I think the president's ratings would actually improve, but that wouldn't have lent itself to the story line so I accept this twist.

    Directors can make or break a movie. Rob Reiner is one of the best directors in the business in my opinion. May he stay a director and out of politics forever!...more info
  • Good but something's missing.
    The American President directed Rob Reiner is a very interesting look at a fictional president and the woman he falls in love with during his reign in the White House. Michael Douglas and Annette Bening are wonderful actors and their chemistry is darn near flawless. I like this film but the many times I have watched it, I feel there's something missing and I am not sure what it is, maybe the storyline could've been a little meatier. Give this clean cut film a try....more info
  • Gift for my dad
    My dad wanted this movie and I easily found it for a good price on Amazon...more info
  • Great Date Flick
    The American President is quite the effusive romantic comedy. My girlfriend, Trixie, and I watched it on a snowy afternoon, accompanied with homemade lasagna. We both enjoyed the movie very much. I reccomend it highly if your main squeeze is dropping by and you have no idea what to watch....more info
  • The American President
    Wonderful movie! I purchased this for my daughter so she wouldn't take my copy!...more info
  • The American PresidentThis is by far one of my all time favorites...I had it on VHS, I wore i
    This is by far one of my all time favorite movies...I had it on VHS and wore it out!! I just love this movie..Thanks...more info
  • Great romantic comedy
    This item arrived quickly and in good condition. This is a bright, smart and fun romantic comedy. ...more info
  • Too preachy but still enjoyable
    It would seem to me that President Shepard (Michael Douglas in a great performance) is every liberal's wet dream as far as Presidents go. One of the things that has annoyed me about this film is how preachy it allows itself to get. It is almost a political cartoon at the end. Richard Dreyfuss stars at the evil Republican who smears Shepard and his flag burning, lobbyist girlfriend (Annette Benning) as his way of announcing his run for the White House (What a well run campaign that must be!). And of course Rob Reiner's Capra-esque moment is Shepard fighting back at the end, defending his membership of the ACLU and the rights of his girlfriend to burn flags. And on top of that he spends a few moments talking about how guns should be taken away from Americans. I guess he is proposing that we eliminate the 2nd Amendment when two minutes before, he was talking about how important it is that we stand up for the Bill of Rights.

    Now this kind of liberal propaganda annoys me but the film's politics is a backdrop to a well written film about a widower who is also President and finds romance in the high pressured job. We also get a look at the workings of the White House to get the declining approval ratings up. Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox are both great as his top dogs. I do enjoy the film on that level a lot. I can definately see that Reiner was going for a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" feel but the blatant liberal rhetoric will definately cause many conservatives to tune out. ...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
  • Great Movie, Lousy DVD
    I am only giving this 5 stars for one reason. The movie itself is great. Please read the other reviews here and you will see they love the movie as well. However; by them giving it one star for the lack of Warner Brothers showing any sense in how to put it on DVD and box it, they may lead many people to think the movie isn't any good. Michael Douglas and Annette Benning are wonderful in this fictional romantic movie about the president. A little comedy is thrown in as well and a great support cast including Michael J. Fox make it well worth seeing. I recommend you see it, but don't buy it until Warner gets their act together on producing a quality DVD....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
  • meathead's revenge
    This is a skilfully directed and performed piece of leftist propaganda that holds its punches until the film is 80% complete. Then Rob Reiner unloads on you in a presidential speech that contains all the extreme and often crude left wing views that dominate contemporary Hollywood. The huge talents of Bening and Douglas are wasted. The film's writer deserves a special raspberry award for muddying an otherwise unbelievable script. All in all, this film is just the ticket for Michael Moore fans. For people even slightly higher on the intellectual ladder, The American President is a disappointing waste of time....more info