The American President (Rob Reiner)

Rating: ***

The trailer for this film made me want to run screaming in the opposite direction of any theater at which it might be playing, so I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Politically, it's pretty vapid (not to mention blatant pro-Clinton propaganda; as a liberal who wishes Clinton would stand up for what he allegedly believes in, I wasn't much distressed), but it's a pretty darn fine romantic comedy, with appealing performances from Douglas and (especially) Bening, a clever and unique premise with which to keep its lovers apart, and witty dialogue to spare (I wish they had spared some of it, actually, since several lines are so clever that they strain credulity in this otherwise naturalistic context). It's fluff, but it's well-crafted, engaging fluff. Nice to see Michael J. Fox in a decent role again; his outburst during a phone conversation is the film's comic highlight.