The American President - Zuguide Movie TrailerPresident Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) is a successful politician, but he's also a widower with a young daughter.
Michael Douglas also appeared in Wall Street, One Night at McCool's, Basic Instinct, Traffic, You, Me and Dupree, The Game, A Perfect Murder, Disclosure, The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Trumbo, Fatal Attraction, It Runs in the Family, The Sentinel, Wonder Boys, The In-Laws (2003), Black Rain, and King of California. Annette Bening also appeared in American Beauty, Being Julia, Running with Scissors, The Women, and The Siege.
Martin Sheen also appeared in Wall Street, Apocalypse Now, Gandhi, Gettysburg, Catch Me If You Can, The Departed, Catch-22, Talk to Me, Bobby, Echelon Conspiracy, and Love Happens. David Paymer also appeared in Ocean's Thirteen, Amistad, Resurrecting the Champ, The Hurricane, Drag Me to Hell, and Payback. Richard Dreyfuss also appeared in Silver City, Jaws, American Graffiti, James and the Giant Peach, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Stand by Me, W., My Life in Ruins, and Leaves of Grass.
A romance set in the high altitude world of the White House, The American President benefits from a stellar cast and a balanced blend of love and politics, although the idealism does get somewhat mawkish. Democratic President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), a widower, is three years into his first term, eyeing reelection, and riding high in approval ratings. Shepherd is immediately attracted to Wade, and a courtship ensues, sending Washington into a tizzy. Written by Aaron Sorkin, The American President is intellectual, romantic, thoughtful and witty.

But Sorkin cannot avoid veering into the land of idealistic grand gestures, and when the President's love life finally collides head-on with the realities of his political agenda, the resolution is through the sort of noble policy U-turn, delivered with sombre drama in the White House press room, that can only exist in a screenwriter's head.
Director Rob Reiner provides steady pacing and avoids extremes of emotion or drama, allowing a relatively plausible story to unfold at a relaxed pace. With glamorous Washington DC settings providing an enchanting backdrop, The American President glides to success, perhaps not in a landslide but with a comfortable majority. When he overhears environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade's (Annette Bening) unguarded criticism of his policy, he is intrigued. Fox also appeared in Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II, and Back to the Future Part III. While Wade's new cachet helps her to win support for the carbon reduction bill, Republican presidential hopeful Bob Rumson (Richard Dreyfuss) seizes on the President's White House romance to question his character, and starts to mercilessly attack both Shepherd and Wade. The film is a rarity in targeting an adult audience, avoiding any boorishness, and finding moments of humour without ever descending to childish behaviour. Sorkin would go on to create television's The West Wing as a quasi spin-off from The American President, television a more appropriate venue to peddle simplistic solutions to complex issues. Michael Douglas finds the perfect balance portraying the decisive leader of the free world who is also a living, breathing family man with emotions, reservations, and a need to love. To add colour Reiner calls on an outstanding supporting cast to keep the proceedings lively, with Martin Sheen a steadying influence as the President's long-term friend, confidant, and now Chief of Staff.

The President takes the high road and his popularity starts to plummet, jeopardizing passage of the gun control bill, and forcing Shepherd into some difficult decisions.
Annette Bening is a perfect match, and she triggers some of the funniest moments as Sydney Ellen suffers severe foot-in-mouth during her first few interactions with the President. Once the romance blossoms, Douglas and Bening make an attractive couple, generating believable warmth and as much comfort as a relationship with the President can afford. Fox is the highly strung, phenomenally smart domestic policy advisor, built and designed to anticipate and worry.
Shepherd's first priority is the passage of a gun control bill, while an environmental initiative calling for carbon emission reductions is also on the agenda.
Richard Dreyfuss sinks his teeth into the role of the antagonist Senator Rumson, breathing concealed fire while offering nothing of substance in a naked lunge for power. The Global Defence Council, an environmental lobby group, hires Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening) to lobby the President and Congress and ensure that the carbon emission reduction targets are not watered down.

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