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on October 13, 2011
This is one of those movies that never fails to make you laugh and to shed a tear.

It's all about the relationship between the Former First Lady Tess, played by Shirley MacLaine, and her secret service contingent, lead by Doug Chesny played by Nick Cage.

She's fiesty, determined and cantankerous when she doesn't get her way and what she wants is to keep her Special Agent in Charge Doug at her side while he yearns to get back into the thick of being a Secret Service agent instead of living the life of a retiree.

The secret behind her desire to hold onto Doug is *spoiler alert* the fact that he so loved Tess' late husband who died while still serving as President. He was loyal, protected his secrets and served him steadfastly and while Tess' own children were divorced from the normal family dynamic, she sees Doug as a surrogate son whom her late husband trusted implicitly and Doug is her last link to her late husband, who she still loves despite the fact that he died while entertaining another woman.

The movie focuses on their relationship and the depth of care that they develop for each other while bad behavior and some dangerous twists occur, most of them leading to outright guffaws of laughter and some tears.

It's one of those sweet movies that has so much going for it that if we don't have it out during our family gatherings for the holidays, people ask for it to be brought out and played.

And, while there are a few moments of blue language, it's a great movie for kids as well as grown ups, an all around family classic.
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on October 13, 2014
this is a good movie im not a nick cage fan but in this movie he is actually good shirley maclaine is great as the widow of a u.s. president she gets kidnapped nick cage her secret service agent eventually figures it out but in the begining his team let's the ball drop bored because they are protecting a widow at her home and shirley is a little bit difficult the agents want to be more active
a couple of sub plots involving family and health issues then when the widow gets kidnapped the president comes down hard on her protective agents pushing them further away from the center of the case assigning a new team to find her it has sarcasm it is funny and serious all around entertaining
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on August 1, 2016
Ive seen this movie on a number of occasions. I tear up every time I see it. This is a wonderful story line. The truth is once a president is a former president you hardly hear how they are cared for by our nation. This is a touching incite to life after presidency for a former first lady. Nicolas Cage is completely at the top of his game and leading lady Shirley MacLaine shares the spot light with leading man Nicolas Cage fabulously. This is a good balance of arguing and loving relationship.
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on September 24, 2009
Nicolas Cage either shines completely or sometimes gets cast into dismal characters and roles. I personally like less the "Gone In 60 Seconds" tough guy side of his roles and extremely appreciate his soft tender side; roles like "Family Man" and this movie, "Guarding Tess".

This is an endearing role of the dynamics between two individuals, Tess [Shirley McClaine - former President's wife] and her retirement secret service detail - headed by Cage. Like I was taught about flying - its usually 99% boredom followed by moments of sheer terror - their detail that guards Tess has the same dynamic. Always on guard - to walk the dog or get her lunch, etc . . . . . The point in the story where danger is immenent is a vital part of the plot - but in a sense it's almost anti-climatic in comparison to the wonderful bantering that exists between Cage and the former First Lady. The points where the current President gets his calls from Tess if Cage doesn't behave - are to me the funniest parts of the film.

Great movie - a classic that I would rate with the likes of "The African Queen", "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" or "The Old Man & The Sea". This is a keeper that I almost had forgotten existed.
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on November 22, 2013
I saw this movie way back in the 80s and so enjoyed it then. Shirley MacLaine is priceless as a crotchety ex President's wife who really hates the world and everyone in it. (I do believe it's because of the death of her dear husband and the loneliness that always accompanies such a loss. She makes life miserable for her staff, and the Secret Service Agents assigned to guard her. They want to quit and she won't allow it. She seems to love making their lives a nightmare. A mix of bitter sweetness with a few laughs tucked in here and there.
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on September 16, 2009
I am not a Shirley MacLaine fan. I watched this movie because it had Nicholas Cage in it. Well, let's say that I loved her performance in this movie. The interaction between her and Cage was very impressive. You could just sit there and forget you were watching a film. It seems reasonable that the head of her security team would become very fond of his charge. It also seems reasonable that she would come to feel as if he was her son. Eddie Albert plays the perfect bad son so well. This is a movie well worth watching with all the twist and turns, never knowing but always expecting something to happen. Don't want to spoil the whole movie for you but you'll greatly enjoy this one. It's definitely worth the money.
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on December 15, 2006
Doug Chesnick, played by Nicolas Cage, is the secret service agent assigned to protect President Carlisle's widow Tess, played by Shirley MacLaine. He chafes at the unimportance of his assignment but he especially would like to get away from her! She's difficult, rude, arbitrary, and won't let them do their jobs effectively. But when his current assignment is over and he gladly returns to Washington, he is told he has to go back. Tess called the president and wants him to stay. It is an almost constant battle of wills between them, with Tess usually winning.

A key scene is of her wheeler-dealer businessman son (Edward Albert)coming to ask her to endorse a high-end golf club/housing development. He simply came there to use her. It is there in her face that she knows this, as she turns him down. Later, she is viewing video of television coverage of her husband's funeral, during which her son appears to be feeling nothing, while Doug's composure breaks. Brief, and covered quickly, but there's no doubt how he felt. Nicolas Cage is certainly a very good actor. We understand that Tess wants Doug close to her because he loved her husband and is the son she wished she had. Also, no one knows that she has an inoperable brain tumor and does not have long to live.

Suffice it to say that her affection for him is justified when she is kidnapped. To Doug's great professional humiliation, top agents descend from Washington and take control; but Doug, unlike anyone else in the agency, realizes almost at once who is responsible and stops at nothing to extract the information he needs to save Tess's life.

In the hands of two less-edgy actors it would probably be completely forgettable; but it works. Highly recommended.
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on August 22, 2016
Reviewed by Linda Clifton: For some reason I never saw this movie when it came out. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good movie
for the whole family to watch.
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on May 23, 2017
It's humorous in places and touching in others. I really enjoyed it.
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on July 2, 2016
Funny, funny funny, and the cast is exceptional. While the plot is fairly nonexistent, it is a light comedy with subtle touches of real truth about politicians lives. It is more about a relationship between two people who hate and love each other at the same time.
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