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An American Affair
An American Affair
Actors: Gretchen Mol, Noah Wyle
Genres: Drama, Horror
R     2009     1hr 33min

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 JFK?s torrid affair with his neighbor and secret CIA assassination p...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Gretchen Mol, Noah Wyle
Genres: Drama, Horror
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror
Studio: Screen Media
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/28/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Steven H. (sehamilton) from BIRMINGHAM, AL
Reviewed on 5/8/2011...
In no sense of the term is this a "horror" movie. A decent coming-of-age movie with a strong performance by Gretchen Mol. Some suspense; worth a viewing. This film is inaccurately tagged "horror" and should be removed.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Coming-of-age tale meets JFK
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 09/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)


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).

All the "Summer of `42" stuff is, ultimately, far less compelling than the political details of the period, steeped as they are in Kennedy-era glamour and paranoia, with larger-than-life figures acting out a torrid little soap opera in the foregroound, while shadowy figures (mainly Cubans and CIA agents) skulk around in the background. The scenes surrounding the assassination are treated with subtlety and restraint, making them all the more heartbreaking and poignant for those in the audience who lived through the experience. In fact, the whole last half hour of the film achieves a haunting sadness that finally penetrates to the very marrow of one`s bones.

The movie certainly won't solve the puzzle as to "Who killed JFK?," but it has some fun trying to piece it all together."
HOT movie never lets up
V. fulgenzi | Chappaqua | 05/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Half real, half fiction, this movie never lets up, holds your interest from beginning to end. Mol is really beautiful and very effective in the role. Where has she been? (Never saw her before) Other cast members are equally effective. Don't miss it!"
Real story is better than the movie
Severin | San Francisco, CA USA | 08/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"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!"