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Matt Gerson's "Angle on Movies"

My Fellow Americans

When we met Matt last Friday, he was especially proud of this review, & told us to be sure not to miss it. I'm glad I didn't!

Notable: Matt mentions Annette Bening for the second week in a row. Hmm...
Fun Activity: Count the number of times Matt uses the words "meets" & "meeting."
Impossible Activity: Try and makes sense of some of these sentences--even more than usual, Matt seems to get lost halfway through.

<< Announcer: Now our four day a week feature on AM 1310, here's Matt Gerson with his "Angle on Movies" now showing at your local theater. >>
I'm Matt Gerson with three Angles for My Fellow Americans, another Hollywood meets Washington, DC sendup of sitcom land meets Grumpy Old Men, with Washington, DC as the setting of the soap opera and those deep dish dilemmas, similar to our suspense over whether President Michael Douglas will score on his hot date with Annette Bening the lobbyist in The American President--in fact, both movies, My Fellow Americans and The American President, help lower to absolute zero our feelings for the morals of Bubba Clinton and former chief executives, rubbing them even more into the dirt of dumb politicos with occasional jokes at the office that show the crass lengths, like dancing with pandas in Japan for big bucks, treading on his office, that Jack Lemmon's President Kramer stoops to.

The movie My Fellow Americans is produced by that rogue of Hollywood, Take the Millions and Take the Credit and Make Out on the Front Lawn of the Studio, Jon Peters, Hit and Run himself, and the movie itself, in the same vein, is non-stop sex jokes, flatulence jokes, some silly ones with presidents meeting the public, playing golf hitting the masses on the part of Dan Quayle lookalike meets Gerald Ford, Vice President Ted Matthews, played by John Heard.

If it weren't for the loveability of Jack Lemmon, who could make endearing our presidents our national pasttime, and angle neck walking our newest way of locomotion, and, to a lesser extent James Garner, another president with enough mugs and shrugs and wiseacre silliness tossed our way to ensure the office is reduced even lower than Mr. I Don't Inhale But I Feel Your Pain has dragged it down.

My Fellow Americans does give us the performances, that are delightful, of two goofy, daffy Hollywood and TV hands, Jack "Weezy Posed" [sic; huh?] Lemmon and James "All American Boy One Step Away From Divorce Court Women On The Road" Garner, both of them wisecracking with jokes of their favorite pasttime, power and being president, in a former life that is danced around in terms of just what they did, in this thickness of hair's breadth script by no less than three--count 'em--screenwriters.

My Fellow Americans defies you to take its new math and parody of flashbacks from one concession speech of one mediocre president of these has-beens to another and their life on the lam to marching in a gay parade, in a trailer home with Mr. and Mrs. Lower Class Truck Stop Family, complete with child who can't go to the bathroom except in the car between the two of them, and other unique situations to sitcoms, setting the president straight about how one helped them lose their job and one their home and put them in nomad land with a trailer home their only roof on wheels over their heads, in one of the truly rare few moving moments.

Yet, this movie is entertaining, with enough bedroom antics by perpetually cheating President Douglas (James Garner) and neurotic and snappy and endlessly cranky President Kramer, trading jokes like contests with other presidents about who made the cover of Time the most and crucially had the most assassination attempts on him during their terms of office, and good old boy Dan Ackroyd puts on his patented Driving Miss Daisy veneer as smooth-talking Southern good old boy President Haney, who hatches a bizarre plot that is as unexplained and trivial in its reasons for the killing of two former ex-presidents over illegal campaign funds, if you can believe this, and an insult to our imagination with a cartoonish silliness perhaps totally in keeping with its Easy Rider "let's cross America" meets Grumpy Old Men III pasted together tale of by the numbers kind of situations, from hassling autograph sessions to plugged books to public appearances and golf outings that are just backdrops for buffoonery by the who plays golf the best, whose "Longfellow" is more straight and other double entendres that make us laugh and shake our heads at the "who made this up?" stupidity of this movie, and what are the Two Stooges meeting The Marx Brothers in A Day at the Rose Garden doing here--besides making Jon "Moral-less" Peters more ill-gotten money as producer taking the credit, of course.

I'm Matt Gerson with three Angles for My Fellow Americans, only for the charm of these two actors, shamelessly sacking the White House world in this scheming and greedy, much like ourselves at our worst, as Jack and James, former presidents both, in this mammoth mass of Easter egg rolling our images of former chief executives and vacuous-minded vice presidents that, alas, may not be as far from the truth as we think, God help us all!

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