THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT came out in 1995 and though I was younger than its target audience, I couldn’t help falling in love. I caught it on tv years ago and now it has a permanent home on my DVR. (It’s joined in perpetuity by COMING TO AMERICA, but that’s another article entirely.) Knowing it’s there makes me happy. At one point, we nearly had to replace our DVR and I insisted AT&T Uverse come up with a different solution to our cable issue because I didn’t want to lose THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT. (Good news: I do have a backup since I own it on VHS. Yes, I really might be an 80 year old grandmother in disguise so feel free to laugh. Or, let me feed you cookies.)
It’s a special subcategory of movie (that I think I just made up) called Princess Romance. My
other favorite, COMING TO AMERICA, fits the same genre—and with these two movies you now
know exactly what I love watching!
Yes, perpetuating a princess myth can be unrealistic. Disney gets a lot of flack for it with their
animated movies but does anyone really watch THE AVENGERS or THE HUNGER GAMES and
believe they’re real? If Princess movies mean we need to worry about young girls growing up
thinking they need to be rescued, does THE HUNGER GAMES mean we need to worry about them trying to kill each other? Of course not, yet the Action category is perfectly acceptable. I think the Princess Romance deserves its own, well-respected category.
Princesses might not always be self-sufficient in Disney movies (and this was Universal, for the
record) but in real life they are. They literally live to do volunteer work and bring awareness to
causes. What isn’t there to love about Princess Kate? She is the ultimate Princess Movie
So, back to THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, an adult-oriented princess story starring Annette Bening as Sydney Ellen Wade, a political consultant, and Michael Douglas as President Andrew Shepherd. Basically, the President is impressed when he hears Sydney insulting him behind his back (she doesn’t realize he has walked into the room) and rather than be offended, he has a sense of humor (a must for any Prince Charming!) and invites her to a ball—otherwise known as a State Dinner.
Now for the good part—followed by lots of excited exclamation points. Sydney gets to wear a
gorgeous gown! She gets to meet famous and important people! Sydney shows that she’s not
just beautiful but smart, too! In my favorite scene, everyone struggles to make conversation at a dinner with the President of France and his wife. The only other woman at the table speaks
Latin. (“Next time Julius Caesar comes to town, you’re our gal!”—President Shepherd) While everyone is clearly uncomfortable, Princess Sydney saves the day since it turns out she
knows fluent French! Is there anything this woman can’t do?! The best part is that while she is
impressing everyone around her, all she’s really doing is being herself.
And if that isn’t the best Princess message, then I don’t know what is.
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If you haven’t already had the pleasure of watching THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT you can check it out on Amazon.com!