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An American Affair

3.5 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Set in 1963, in the swirl of glamour and intrigue that turned President John F. Kennedy's Washington into Camelot, a young teenager has an inside view of JFKs torrid affair with his neighbor and secret CIA assassination plans. History unfolds in front of your eyes in this gripping and dramatic coming of age story. Film enhanced with some real footage from the 1960s.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gretchen Mol, Noah Wyle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Screen Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0028S10XS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,486 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roland E. Zwick on September 25, 2009
Format: DVD
***1/2

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).
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Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This movie, clearly and transparently based on the last year in the life of Mary Pinchot Meyer, is, unfortunately, not as good as it could have been. All the real characters are here and very thinly disguised: Ms. Meyer, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, JFK, with the addition of a fictional nice teen-age boy who happens to live next door. This character is the problem. Though well-acted, the role is poorly conceived, and the boy's various shadowings and spyings look absurd. Plus there's some tiresome material set at his Catholic day school. Gretchen Mol is wonderful, as is the actor who plays the Angleton character. But this could have been so much better if the filmmakers had taken a tougher position. Left out are Ben and Tony Bradlee and their role in the destruction of Mary Pinchot Meyer's (possibly inflammatory) diary. On the plus side, the LSD scene is nicely done. Bottom line: a fascinating tale receives a mediocre treatment. What a shame!
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A well acted movie which got me quite enthused about delving much deeper into the life and death of Mary Pinchot Meyer. If it does the same for you, "Mary's Mosaic" may be a book you would enjoy reading.

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.
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I didn't pay much attention to the schoolyard stuff because the rest of it was so good. It's more like a generation coming of age after the obvious unfettered right wing power brokers that enjoy unchecked lies to run and ruin lies without interference for so long . I didn't get the right wing Kennedy haters sending their kids to Catholic school. The one thing I took away from the teenager was him asking his clueless dad, wasn't it his job to protect him? Right on. Kennedy was talking about disbanding the CIA at the time as well. One gunman my Aunt Fanny...conveniently shot shortly thereafter.The acting was great, it was all well done, engaging.
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It is a gripping story that clearly illistrates the atmosphere of the day. For history fanatics, it does make some leaps of faith. But there is much more truth in it than fiction. I have studied the assassination from multiple sorces. When the same names keep popping up, it gains truth in my world. So if you want to get the "feel" of those days and these people, this is your movie. If you require absolute historical accuracy, get a documentary DVD.
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.
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There was more than one MM in JFK's life.
Mary Pinchot Meyer married Cord Meyer (CIA)
JFK & Jackie.moved next door.
JFK had the hots for MPM. They were in touch up until his assassination.
She voiced disagreement with the Warren Report. She was murdered 3 weeks later.
Her diary is missing, and the murder is unsolved.
It's too bad we don't know more of history. This movie could have been enlightening.
I think if people knew more about what was really going on then, this may have been more interesting, but people here are commenting about Marilyn and that's not the story. Of course, some only watched it because they thought it to be about MM.
Still it's quite telling most people have never even heard of MPM. Even many who lobe MM.
Heck most kids now don't know what's a Warren Report, something they skipped in school?
Anyway the failure of this film to capitalize on the historical facts which have since come to light is sad, it had such potential. I'd like to give it an A for effort, but, I'm not sure how much effort went into what - the creative touch of the hormonal young voyeur - it obfuscates, almost trivializes the elusive truth.
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