An American Affair
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Written by Alex Metcalf and directed by William Olsson, "An American Affair" at least earns points for originality. For what starts out as a fairly conventional coming-of-age tale set in 1963 Washington D.C. suddenly turns into a piece of historical fiction when the obligatory older woman 13-year-old Adam Stafford (Cameron Bright) falls madly in love with turns out to be none other than the mistress of President John F. Kennedy himself. Thus, not only is Adam introduced to the wonderful world of raging hormones but to the sociopolitical issues of the day as well.
Adam is the son of two journalists who have no clue their child has been peeping into the home across the way, enjoying a full-court view of Catherine Caswell (nicely played by Gretchen Mol), a glamorous divorcee and ex-CIA agent guaranteed to get any healthy young American lad's juices flowing. When Adam introduces himself to her, Catherine hires him on as a gardener, a setup that gives the youngster plenty of opportunity to not only make his move on this prospective conquest but, thanks to her uniquely complicated social life, to have a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into a bit of juicy, albeit undocumented, political history.
"An American Affair" throws so many disparate elements into the mix - May/December romance (or maybe more like February/August), lurid political melodrama, adolescent wish-fulfillment, cloak-and-dagger espionage, conspiracy-theory speculation - that it can't help but generate a certain fascination, even when the story itself is not all that convincing or the passion for the subject not everything it could be (this applies mainly to the first half).Read more ›
The portrayal by Mol is excellent. The politcs are nicely contrasted with the boy's Nixonite parents. It leaves one saddened, and feeling like you were asleep during those days and missed it all.
The first time I came across this movie by accident, which was on television, I thought it was completely fictional until near the end. The second time I watched with eyes wide open and then, as I said, became convinced that there was more to JFK's death than what we've generally been told. Reading the above mentioned book and also books by Howard Fast may convince you, also.
But this is a movie review. I gave it four stars because I felt it was well done, fascinating not only in its somewhat historical accuracy but also because it presented a watchable, fictional story line.
Anyway, the story focuses mainly on the next door neighbor (an attractive middle aged woman) and the relationship she develops with the boy across the street. The parents STRONGLY disapprove of their son making constant visits to the womans home because the woman has a confusing, troubled life. The mother tries explaining what she's like by simply saying "She's different, so stay away from her".
You'll quickly discover the woman has quite a few male friends that she comes into contact with all the time, and they are tied to the White House. You'll have to watch the storyline to find out what their connections are and why they make frequent visits to the womans home.
Anyway, the woman is perfectly aware that the boy has a serious crush on her, but nothing ever comes out of it. By that I mean no relationship ever forms or anything.
Basically An American Affair gives the viewer yet another idea what it was like living in the early to mid 60's and experiencing the Kennedy assassination incident. That's why when the moment Kennedy is killed, you witness the emotional reactions of all the characters in the movie.
Of course a big question as to why the main character himself (the teenage boy) doesn't feel anything over the incident is perhaps a storyline blunder.
This is a pretty good movie with a decent storyline.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting movie when reviewing the entire perspective of Crossfire, Mary's Mosaic and Executive ActionPublished 15 months ago by D. Brown
I liked the movie. I bought it to see Cameron Bright and go Gretchen Mol as a bonus. Interesting movie.Published 23 months ago by Mimzy
Great movie if you're interested in the Kennedy era politics. This a 'very simple' version
of Mary Pinchot Meyer and her influence on a neighbor's teen boy and her death.
THis movie was worth watching however it was not based on facts. It shows Monroe being alive after the assassination of JFK.Published on December 30, 2013 by Rebecca A. Rossman