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An American Affair Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

June 7, 2010
In "An American Affair," teenaged Adam(Cameron Bright) goes through several rites of passage in Washington, DC in 1963. The first is a fight with his best friend Jimmy(Jimmy Bellinger) when he chips a tooth. The second is spying Catherine(Gretchen Mol), an artist and his new neighbor across the way, not only smoking, but also half naked. So instead of listening as President Kennedy boldly proclaims his solidarity with jelly donuts everywhere, his attention is focused on her, as he also manages to get a job working on her garden. But then it turns out that he is not the only one with the same viewing habits...

While covering some very familiar ground, "An American Affair" does have a couple of great moments. It also manages to get the mood right, especially around insular Georgetown, implying the details which allows for a certain level of creepiness to set in, not to mention a little erotic frisson. This works well with the movie being a coming of age tale, as Adam learns a lot about how the adult world works with their lies and myths. And I am more impressed with Mark Pellegrino's acting each time I see him in something. However, the Catholic school seems a little too integrated for the time and place, both racial and gender.(A friend of mine once pointed out that Washington, DC is a southern city.) And is that staircase the one I think it is?
Mark A

Super Reviewer

October 26, 2009
A potboiler in which the Girl Next Door meets Conspiracy Theory. Catherine Caswell (Gretchen Mol), a Marilyn Monroe lookalike who is having an affair with JFK, grabs the attention of her school boy neighbor across the street, Adam Stafford (Cameron Bright). The friendship between the unlikely pair develops slowly and feels genuine. Adam is dealing with raging hormones and a natural curiosity, while Catherine is trying to balance political forces that are about to come crashing down on her and with repercussions that we still feel today. Noah Wylie and Perrey Reeves, as Adam's parents, are just self-absorbed enough to be clueless regarding Adam's conflicts, and annoying enough that we understand Adam's sense of helplessness in the face of grownup emotions and grownup problems. A coming of age story with dark, political overtones that this viewer found to be a rewarding film experience. The use of archival footage gave this fictional tale a sense of immediacy. The story is fairly straight-forward, without trying to disguise where it is inevitably heading, but it is not meant to be a mystery. The viewer begins to care for these two people who are helpless to escape the confines of their relative situations. Adam because of his youth, and Catherine because of her choices, are both the victims of their present circumstances. It didn't actually happen this way, but it certainly might have.
September 25, 2012
In this film set in the 1963, when John F. Kennedy was president a young 13 year old boy, Adam (Cameron Bright) falls for his older neighbor, Catherine (Gretchen Moi), who is having romantic relations with the president of the United States.

This film started out strong, detailing what struggles adolescence holds, but halfway through it fail flat & the ending wasn't impressive. This is one of those movies that you only watch once.
NuditysShiver
September 27, 2009
All pleasantries aside, An American Affair sole plot is the infatuation of a 13-year-old boy to a much older woman in Gretchen Mol. She plays Catherine who has a secret love affair with JFK. Adam (Cameron Bright) starts noticing Catherine through his bedroom window while looking at a Playboy. He invites himself to Catherine's place and offers to work for her, so he can be closer to her. Unaware of his intentions, she agrees and has him do a little landscape work in her backyard. His interest deepens for her after witnessing her and a married man making love in her room while hiding in the closet. She spots him almost immediately, but in a weird way allows him to watch. The plot of the film, about the death and cover up of JFK, is completely put in the background and concentrates on Catherine and Adam the majority of the film. The directer of An American Affair seemed rather confused going in. He was juggaling two seperate stories in one film. But, where it lacks on delivery it makes up for in superb acting from Gretchen Mol. There's something about her that puts a smile on my face. It's like she's always in a radiant mood. Even when she's depressed. It's really quite endearing and her performance saves me from giving An American Affair a bad rating.
jam233
August 2, 2009
I don't see why this got such dreadful reviews, I thought was intriguing and well acted, particularly Gretchen Mol. I never lost interest, great cinematography. Fascinating plot.
December 17, 2011
LOVED THIS MOVIE!! What's the matter with you people...could have happened...very realistic...definitely kept ones interest...touching...great acting...and more
November 11, 2011
Why the hell do both Facebook and rotten tomatoes know what I'm watching at 4 in the morning? Doesn't big brother have someone better to keep tabs on? Movie review? Synopsis: JFK conspiracy theory/catholic school boy coming of age who gives a fuckfest that tries hard to keep a straight face while it spoon feeds you bullshit. Pros: Gretchen mol being fine, dookie from the wire getting slapped in the mouth, music playing over the credits. Cons: everything that wasn't a pro. Conclusion: don't watch it, save two hours of your life, jerk off and take a nap instead. Kinda wish I had.
Dave J
August 26, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011

(2009) An American Affair
DRAMA/ INTRIGUE

Cameron Bright stars as a precocious 13 year old boy who often witnesses the doings of his floozy/scandolous female neighbor played by Gretchen Mol as Catherine and her role during the assassination of JFK etc...

This is nothing more than a pure 'what if' film coming from the point-of-view of a 13 year old which the film indicates that their might've been more than what people know about the assassination of JFK- which is pure horse crap. And some of the movie was just an excuse to have Mol naked!

2 out of 4
rocker_els6789
August 12, 2010
Cameron Bright is not a good actor. He didn't do very well in Thank You for Smoking and he did even worse in this film. The story is odd, the main character is very unlikeable and downright creepy, and this whole movie is boring, too drawn out, and downright bad. The camera shots and sound quality are even crappy. I couldn't find one thing I like about this movie besides the very attractive Gretchen Mol.
Aleksi M.
June 20, 2010
'An American Affair' is a film about two things. Growing up and finding sexuality, and secret goverment dealings. Unfortunately the film only works as the first one.

The film tells the story of Adam, a bit of a trouble maker who goes to a catholic school in the city of Washington D.C.
Adam is a teenager who is just about to find out that maybe girls aren't that icky after all. In fact Adam makes closer contact with a girl in his school but gets rejected for being too urgent, if you know what I mean. In the wake of his blossoming sexuality Adam starts working for his neighbour, the beautiful Catherine Caswell, who seems to have some big secrets of her own that involve the president John F. Kennedy. Of course Adam falls in love with her and the best parts of the film are about just that.

However for some strange reason the filmmakers decided to include the plot about Kennedy, and that does not work. At all. It is true that JFK had a lot of mistresses but some how I find it hard to believe that he just slept with anyone anywhere. The biggest problem about the JFK plotline is its utter unbelievability. The woman gets harassed by goverment agents and everything seems to lead straight in to the assassination of JFK. The plot is just so hard to follow and to comprehend that it shatters what would have been a very good film. So as you can see, the film is half good and half bad. Very sad that it has to be that way.

Okay but now a bit about the good aspects of the film! As I mentioned the coming of age story of Adam is a good one. It seems to handle the troubled and sometimes uncomfortable sexual issues of a teenager quite well and it is very well acted. Cameron Bright is good as Adam and Gretchen Mol is very sexy and seductive as the presidents lover Catherine. It also deals with important issues and has some very important themes in it, mainly about the relationship between a teenager and his parents and sexuality as a whole.

The film has some beautiful camera work in it which shows that the director William Olsson is a very talented filmmaker who was plagued in this project by the terrible screenplay. It's like there's two movies in here, one of them is good and the other one sucks ass... It's truly a shame. What also made an impact on me was the musical score wich was captivating to say the least.

Overall, 'An American Affair' is a double edged sword. The more human issues attract the viewer when on the other hand the highly political mumbo-jumbo turns the viewer off. They should have just flatout left the whole JFK thing out and go with a more traditional story. There is nothing wrong with that.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

June 7, 2010
In "An American Affair," teenaged Adam(Cameron Bright) goes through several rites of passage in Washington, DC in 1963. The first is a fight with his best friend Jimmy(Jimmy Bellinger) when he chips a tooth. The second is spying Catherine(Gretchen Mol), an artist and his new neighbor across the way, not only smoking, but also half naked. So instead of listening as President Kennedy boldly proclaims his solidarity with jelly donuts everywhere, his attention is focused on her, as he also manages to get a job working on her garden. But then it turns out that he is not the only one with the same viewing habits...

While covering some very familiar ground, "An American Affair" does have a couple of great moments. It also manages to get the mood right, especially around insular Georgetown, implying the details which allows for a certain level of creepiness to set in, not to mention a little erotic frisson. This works well with the movie being a coming of age tale, as Adam learns a lot about how the adult world works with their lies and myths. And I am more impressed with Mark Pellegrino's acting each time I see him in something. However, the Catholic school seems a little too integrated for the time and place, both racial and gender.(A friend of mine once pointed out that Washington, DC is a southern city.) And is that staircase the one I think it is?
MODERN DAY REVIEW
January 22, 2010
I loved the originality of it. It mixes both coming of age drama and a conspiracy that JFK had a mistress. But it fails in many ways to keep the plot going, the acting is not that great and the diologue could have been better. Another thing was the scenes at times would sort of skip seconds making it seemed like the scenes were being rushed. It sill entertaining and worth a watch a DVD rental at best.
Laura H.
December 7, 2009
I enjoyed parts of the movie - it left me anticipating. However, I events were skewed and the love affair with the 13 year old was distrubing.
kingofthecorn
November 14, 2009
(*): Thumbs Down

Gretchen Mol is wasted here in a trite thriller than you wanted to be such better than this mess. One of the worst films of 2009.
Gre da Vid
October 22, 2009
He's a young boy in Washington D.C. during the Kennedy administration, who is mesmerized by the seeming intrigue and mystery surrounding the woman across the street. He sees and hears things he shouldn't and of course, has raging teenage hormones longing for release. She's an artist, and "involved" with government men while her ex-husband seethes with jealousy. She keeps a diary (and shouldn't). "It's all a game of chess, isn't it?" she says, trying to extricate herself from the politics of the time. November 22, 1963 arrives and all the politics of government now seem unimportant to her, but not to the rest of Washington. "We are all jelly donuts." This well written period piece is well worth your time.
Dustin P.
October 19, 2009
I feel this movie describes a story line in which we are all lead to believe we know the true ending because it based a great deal of the story on true life drama. But the use of the artwork and the twist of the boy interjected into the mainstream of the story lead you to a ending that was quite surprising. I believe it was a very well written story that did not need much more to make it enjoyable. Yes I think it was not the most suspenseful movie and did not have many twists added but I think this made the movie play right into the main point of the movie. It was like watching a spider slowly creeping up on its pray and you think you know the ending...and then the spider itself gets eaten by bird.
Robert W.
August 29, 2009
If you are misled by the artwork as I was, then be in for a big disappointment. And, as well, this film prohibits the willing suspension of disbelief completely when it comes to the 13 year old who remains unbelievable even with ones best efforts to make allowances. This film trashed a promising premise.
jazza923
August 2, 2009
I don't see why this got such dreadful reviews, I thought was intriguing and well acted, particularly Gretchen Mol. I never lost interest, great cinematography. Fascinating plot.
stillkrsfromprp
July 21, 2009
An INCREDIBLY dull movie. The only reason I gave the movie a chance was because Gretchen Mol is in it. But, past her beauty, this is bargain bin material.
John T.
March 1, 2009
I enjoyed the movie and would imagine that debut director William Sten Olsson, and triple Oscar winner, Oliver Stone could share an enjoyable conversation regarding JFK and the 1960s.

It's great to see an original interpretation of a defining period of American and world history.

Investigate it for yourself.
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