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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on July 15, 2004
In a day and age when politics absolutely shape our country, it's nice to see someone taking the time to point out all the idiosyncracies between the parties. Many people view this as a road movie, but you can't take it as that. If you look at it as a political farce, then you'll be thrilled. The road trip is a side-show within the comedy.
Jack Lemmon and James Garner are perfect as the republican and democrat (respectively) ex-presidents. Granted, the plot is far-fetched, but if you're looking for great jokes, this is a stop you'll be glad you made.
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on June 27, 2004
The same Reviewers who are kind to MY LIFE have missed the boat on this frenetic comic messterpiece. MY FELLOW AMERICANS is a funny ...sometimes archly funny...flick that blows pretense out of media-driven blowhard politics.James Garner--reviving his MAVERICK-cool persona--is former Democratic Prez,Matt Douglas. Jack Lemmon is arch rival,former Republican Prez,Russell Kramer.A banana bunch of classy supporting actors(including Lauren Bacall and Conehead Dan Aykroyd)keep the pot/plot bubbling with inane set pieces;wicked-wit dialogue;and a bogus story comprising multiple assassination attempts and enough scandal/nefarious conspiracy to glut-up Michael Moore.
That the plot is "pointless" is beside the point. The august majesty of THE PRESIDENCY is the Wallmart target taken for a satirical ride here,and it works. High point of MY FELLOW AMERICANS is that there is no high point in what amounts to sloppy collection of hysterical skits. Jack Heard(a wacky, decisively second string Vice-Prez)makes the MFA Sound Track a collector's item with his stirring(as Funeral valediction/hymn) rendition of soft-schlock rockers,AMERICA's goofy ballade: MUSKRAT LOVE. What more can discerning viewers want? Blue,Red or Indie Green;this load of Americana is yuk-filled shot-in-the-dark at POLs and their Homies everywhere.(50 stars minus 46)
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on March 28, 2003
Jack Lemmon and James Garner play two ex-presidents, one Republican and one Democrat, each of whom served only one term and absolutley can't stand each other. They go out of their way to insult each other. However, they are soon dependent on each other for survival when it becomes obvious someone (but who?) is out to kill them both.
Thus starts a rather hilarious road trip as they try to get back to the world as they know it and figure out what is going on (they have been abandoned in the middle of the woods after their helicopter blows up.) On the way, they encounter all the people who make up their constituents. A very touching, terrible, all-too-real scene is when a woman reveals that her family lives in their car, after each presidents' economic policies forced her and her husband to lose their jobs and house.
But the movie is also funny, as they inadvertently start marching in a gay rights parade, when one of them had publicly denounced gays in his campaign. This delights the men dressed up as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" to think they have turned around. Another scene is when they reveal that each has made up his own lyrics to "Hail to the Chief", and start singing them.
It's funny, and over-the-top, and definitely like nothing else you will see for years!!!
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on August 6, 2000
"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.
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on December 22, 2003
I've always been a fan of both James Garner and Jack Lemmon but I had no idea they would have such great chemistry as they demonstrated here in MFA. Lemmon's character is a veiled George Bushie (not the current one, the one that actually got elected) and Garner is all but channeling Bill Clinton with a little LBJ thrown in. When these two opposing political dynamos are thrown together, they have to cooperate or they're dead meat thanks to the machinations of president Beldar Conehead (Dan Akyroyd to you and me!) and other corrupt ne'er do wells in the Federal Government, which, when you think about it is not that farfetched. These two screen legends share the screen perfectly and their characters are really fully developed. As someone who has always been interested in the presidency, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and personally I think it would've made a great TV series! Too bad we lost the great Jack Lemmon this year but his memory lives on in great movies like this one!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon April 11, 2004
The story covers several years and three presidencies. First Lemmon, then Garner and now Aykroid. Vice President Ted Matthews (John Heard) is a dunce. Turns out rumors of a scandal are surfacing and the now president is having thoughts of pining the scandal on Lemmon who was president at the time. Joe Hollis (Wilford Brimley) the head of the opposition party wants to pin it on the present administration. Col. Paul Tanner will protect the secret at any cost. There are many more players, too numerous to mention. Seems that someone has determined that Lemmon and Garner are best dispatched. Will this happen? Can they clear their names? And not just who is behind the plot, but what is the plot? Watch out for Blinky.
This movie has a sound mystery base to get us through the twists and turns with lots of "who's behind it" moments. However the interaction between Garner and Lemmon is so much fun that sometimes we forget the plot.
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on December 21, 2003
I like James Garner and Jack Lemmon but do not feel this was their best work. They are both ex-presidents whom we find doing various jobs after their bout in the White House. One writes books that no one reads, one does speeches that no one listens to, and of course they hate each other.
Thrown together by circumstances making them the bad guys, they run for their lives and are forced to see America through each others eyes and the eyes of the people.
I would like to say it is enemies made friends, but I'm not sure that is how this movie ended. I didn't like some of the talk that went on and didn't feel it needed to be as crude as it was, I felt it took away from the movie. However, the two men as usual do a fine job of portraying their characters, I will give them that much! I have seen better but I have seen worse!
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on December 2, 2002
"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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on June 28, 2001
I wanted to see this movie originally for Dan Ackroyd. I'm a fan of Dan's, and try to see everything he's in. That was my original reason for seeing this.
However, the Lemmon/Garner pairing was great! Once I realized that Ackroyd's chracter isn't a major player in the movie, and it really was a buddy movie between Lemmon & Garner, it took on a whole new tone.
Not to mention the fact that these actors were brilliant. They're from a generation of actors that just ooze professionalism. Most of today's actors haven't been around long enough to get that, but these guys were rock solid. Loved it! Funny movie, you can't go wrong here.
Lemmon died the day I wrote this - we'll miss him, he was a great actor!
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on March 24, 2003
I whole heartedly agree with Mr. Bagenstose, very few of the critically acclaimed movies do I agree with. Mr. Keogh's review does not dim my love of this movie. You love the presidents and loath the bad guys. What I loved as well is how the camping family put them in their places and let them know what they had not done for their fellow americans. I loved at the end where all the people they had interacted with made their little comments like the immigrant "I came to this country with them", camping family father "I slept with them". I wholeheartedly recommend this to any Garner or Lemmon fans. Give me the legends and keep the current young crop of actors.
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