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My Fellow Americans 1996

PG-13 CC

Two former U.S. presidents ,who loathe each other, find themselvestraveling together on a road trip to the White House to investigate ascandal involving the current president.

Starring:
Jack Lemmon, James Garner
Runtime:
1 hour, 41 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Adventure, Comedy
Director Peter Segal
Starring Jack Lemmon, James Garner
Supporting actors Dan Aykroyd, John Heard, Wilford Brimley, Lauren Bacall, Sela Ward, Everett McGill, Bradley Whitford, James Rebhorn, Esther Rolle, Conchata Ferrell, Jack Kehler, Connie Ray, Tom Everett, Mark Lowenthal, Jeff Yagher, Edwin Newman, Lynn Clark, Leigh Rose
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kenneth A. Bagenstose on December 6, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
First of all, I don't know how the critic, Mr. Keogh, could possibly call this a "lousy" film! I'm a big fan of Garner and Lemmon, two of the all-time greats. This movie is one hilarious joke after another, with some serious moments thrown in for good measure. It certainly is a heck of a lot better than some of the garbage hailed by critics as masterpieces; it's a straightforward, non-stop entertaining affair, one that makes you feel as though you got your money's worth after watching it. The supporting cast is great, too, with Bacall, Heard, Ackroyd, and others putting in some solid performances.
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Format: DVD
At first glance, this looks one of Hollywood's freakier genetic experiments: implanting the genes of a political thriller into a road-trip comedy. The surpise is that the offspring is not just viable, but a good healthy comedy. It surely helps to have two fathers like James Garner and Jack Lemmon bringing it to life.

They play the roles of two ex-presidents, living out their retirements in their respective ways: grubbing every dollar to be had on the lecture circuit (Lemmon), or grabbing every babe to be had (Garner). Dan Aykroyd, improbably cast as the current president, detects a scandal brewing and tries to nail it to the previous administration. Garner and Lemmon, one-time political opponents, are thrown together and the chase begins.

The comedy comes largely from the series of cheap shots and snide recollections the two hurl at each other. The feel-good part comes from their bonding over shared experiences as past presidents, under the pressure of pursuit. The political thriller builds as the hired guns keep trying to assassinate the ex-pres, and to bury the scandal with him. As long as you're not looking for any great subtlety, it works.

It's a bit goofy, but it's a good, safe comedy with just enough plot twists to keep it from becoming completely predictable. It couldn't have worked without Garner and Lemmon in the lead roles, though - their experience in such roles is what made the movie work.

//wiredweird
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Format: DVD
"MY FELLOW Americans" is everything you could ever want in a comedy. Sharp, caustic wits from Lemmon (as Russell Kramer) and Garner (as Matt Douglas) combined with a downright hilarious plot makes this my #1 movie of 1996, my #24 of the 90's, and my #3 comedy of the 90's (behind #1 Bulworth and #2 Dogma). This would be an excellent one to go rent and prepare for the election in November.
The excellent comedic writing is apparent ("There are only two watches like that in the world, Reagan has one and now Shamu the Killer Hick has the other!"), and Heard's underrated performance as Vice President Ted Matthews nearly steals the show. (For those that have seen it, tell me his last line shouldn't be ranked up there with other classic lines!) As usual, Lauren Bacall is magnificent ("Don't say friggin', if you're going to use the F word go for the gold"), and of course Jack Lemmon and James Garner turn in great performances.
The great cast, writing, and script idea all fold together to make one of the best movies ever made.
5/5.
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Format: DVD
Republican Russell Kramer (Jack Lemmon) beat Democrat Matt Douglas (James Garner) for President in a very tight race. Four years later Douglas beats Kramer. Four years later Kraemer Vice President William Haney (Dan Aykroyd) defeats Douglas.

Three more years have passed. Kraemer is now making paid public appearances and writing books on any subject. Douglas has more noble goals, nailing every babe he can. Then a scandal is about to break out and Douglas and Kramer find out. Since he can no longer shift blame to Kramer, Haney decides to kill the former Presidents.

The plot fails but leaves the Presidents stranded. They must find the proof that Haney is guilty and get back to DC alive. This starts a cross country chase that is constantly funny including the Presidents becoming involved in a gay pride parade - that saves their life!

I have to guess that this was originally conceived as a Lemmon Matthau film but was too physical for the declining Matthau. It actually works better with Garner as he is more believable as the Clintonesque womanizer.

Lauren Bacall is great as Mrs. Kramer but only has a couple of scenes. Marg Helgenberger (pre CSI) makes an appearance as Douglas' book editor. And Bradley Whitford makes a White House appearance two years before he took up residence with the Bartlett administration in The West Wing.

It's too bad that Lemmon died before he could reteam with Garner. They made a great pairing.

DVD EXTAS: Blooper Reel.
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Format: DVD
"My Fellow Americans" has wonderfully funny and snappy dialouge and comes with a wonderful bunch of supporting comic characters like the bumbling veep, the NSA chief ("Hello, sirs. No need for concern. It's only me. The twisted psycho.") and the ever-so-clever Republican's wife ("Russell Kramer: It's a kick in the balls! Sorry, sweetheart; Margaret Kramer: Please, I'm a politician's wife. I have a set of my own!) All these come together to bring out the best of American political comedy. "Dave" was great and I enjoyed "Running Mates", but so far this one is the best! The two leads whose characters hate each other's guts, come together harmoniously create the best comedy ever.
Hail to the comedy chiefs 'cause they're the chiefs and they need hailing....
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