113. My Fellow Americans
I can’t imagine a movie with Jack Lemmon, James Garner, and Dan Akyroyd as the top three billed being a shite movie. It just seems so hard for me to fathom that movies with multiple great actors can be crap. They do exist, but My Fellow Americans was not one of those movies.
Not that this is a real accurate comparison but think of this as The Odd Couple or Grumpy Old Men with former Presidents of the USA. A couple of older gentlemen who’ve known each other for a long time and can’t stand the other. Apart from Lemmon being in all three of the movies it has that kind of feel to it, so if you liked any of those films you may enjoy this.
Walter Mathau is not in this however. Instead JAmes Garner replaces him (essentially) as Lemmon’s opposite. Lemmon as Pres. Krammer is a Republic and Garner’s Pres. Douglas is a Democrat. Neither of them is exactly parodying one president in particular, though I really don’t know diddly squat on politics, but the connection I drew was with George H Bush (the Elder) and Clinton. Really though they are pretty ambiguous and just poke fun at various previous presidents and both parties. Garner and Lemmon had great chemistry together and I though they both did a fine job.
Dan Akroyd really isn’t in this film. He plays the current President and only has a few scenes. He does have any comedic spots either which was disappointing. John Heard did a great job as the mindless VP and probably had some of the best lines. The rest of the supporting cast has a number of known faces that do a good job, but are mostly underused. Evert McGill and Bradley Whitford for example.
There isn’t much of a plot to the movie. It’s there and basically is just trying to get you from point A to B. Enough of crap to give some kind of reason for the road trip for the two former Presidents. I have to reassert that this is a comedy film. It isn’t serious and the point is to make you laugh, which it does. Great plot-lines usually aren’t what I’m looking for. The movie isn’t serious either.
I really enjoyed it. I laughed a number of times and while it is far from perfect (the horseback scene on the White House lawn) it’s a great political comedy.