Reviewed by: Lisa Sutter
Michael Douglas plays Andrew Shepherd, a widower with a twelve-year-old daughter named Lucy who just happens to be President of the United States. He meets and quickly falls in love with Sydney Ellen Wade (Bening), an Environmental lobbyist. President Shepherd struggles to do his duty to the nation in his office, but his desire to have a serious personal relationship with Sydney outside of the office is equally important. Personal privacy is next to impossible, and his every action is reflected in poll results and approval ratings. The media is especially ruthless to the President.
Andrew Shepherd is a President who values character highly. While viewers may disagree with his political agenda, they will develop respect for him at the same time. He is open and honest and doesn’t try to give excuses for his behavior.
From a Christian perspective, this movie is somewhat offensive. There is some profanity and an implied sexual encounter between Miss Wade and President Shepherd. But it is dealt with delicately. Nothing is really shown (except for a shot of Bening wearing a man’s white shirt with no pants) But there are no overt sexual acts in this film. There is no violence in this movie. This movie deals realistically with the pressures and responsibilities that come with being the President of the United States.
While not recommended for children, older teens and adults may enjoy this film and find interesting springboards for discussion.