Box art for The American President

The American President

comedy, drama, romance

The world's most powerful man has met his match! MICHAEL DOUGLAS is the widower President wooing environmental lobbyist ANNETTE BENING in this romantic hit by Rob Reiner.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
0 out of 5

Witty, wise, and idealized political romance.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sydney and Andrew (both unmarried) sleep together on their second date. Andrew's wife died of cancer, leaving him to raise his daughter alone, which may sadden teens who've lost a parent. There's some minimal cursing, and political rival Robert Rumson is quick to accuse Sydney of being a slut on national television. There's a lot of potential for mean-spirited digs in this film, and some of them are taken, but mostly it's an uplifting romantic comedy in which the president learns to stand up for what he believes in rather than sticking to what makes him popular.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the similarities between the behaviors of the characters in the movie and kids in high school: the mean-spirited gossip, the flirting, the struggle between being cool and having integrity. Has anyone in your family faced these challenges? How did you decide what to do? What would you have done if you were in Andrew's shoes, or in Sydney's?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: A potentially good adult romance is undone by a preachy left-wing agenda.

- Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily, Thursday, June 24, 2010


- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010


- David Ansen, Newsweek, Monday, August 18, 2008

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This is a very good romantic dramedy. Douglas and Bening put on fine performances and display great chemistry. It is Sorkin's screenplay, however, that makes the movie great. Sorkin does a great job every time he picks up a pen, and this is no exception.

- fb1576983399, Sunday, June 17, 2012

4 stars

Netflix said I'd give it 5 stars...They almost got it right.

- flutieman07, Sunday, July 17, 2011

4 stars

A funny and tender romance movie with a cracking script from Aaron Sorkin. Full review later.

- TomBowler, Tuesday, July 12, 2011