A romantic comedy (at least I think it’s a comedy) set in the White House, with Michael Douglas as a widowed president and Annette Bening as a flustered and flattered—yet somehow hard-as-nails—lobbyist trying to conduct a romance while politics intervenes. I consider the public’s negative response to the romance to be a little silly. I ponder how the staff’s panic is a little overdone. But I praise the dialog as sharp and the direction as tight, which helps the film over its bumps, which makes sense because this was basically the prototype for the TV show The West Wing.
The White House art direction looks beautiful, which I explain at great length, as I did for The Sentinel. However, I misstate the case about the state dinner depicted; it was based on the Yeltsin dinner during the Clinton administration.
Bonus: Visit the White House Museum to see the areas described in the commentary, like the Residence second floor and West Wing first floor.
Start the commentary at the same time you start the movie. (51 MB)
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