An American Affair (DVD)

An American Affair is set in 1963, where JFK’s affair with a CIA member’s wife is seen as nothing too far outside of the norm. A stacked cast, including Gretchen Mol (Rounders), Mark Pellegrino (National Treasure), and James Rebhorn (Cold Mountain) take up this historical piece and make each of the players living and breathing. Where there has been a number of films made in the last twenty years about JFK and those individuals close to eir, I feel that this film takes a fresh perspective and is thus able to shine.

The film itself is set between the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the assassination; where a number of films were firmly based in the Cuban Missile Crisis era, the setting here is slightly different than what has been presented audiences before. Furthermore, there seems o be a different framing construct than what has been presented before: this is not placed in the halls of power, nor are most of the scenes between men of power: much of the action here is seen through the eyes of Alex Stafford (played here by Cameron Bright). Taken all together, An American Affair breaks free of the style and direction of a number of films about the highest elected American office: it is truly refreshing to see a president as some sort of fallible individual.

The set of deleted scenes that are present in the DVD presentation of An American Affair are perfect; they provide further context to the film that makes the resulting cut all the strongest. The one thing that I would have loved to seen here would have to be a commentary by Alex Metcalf (writer) or William Sten Olsson (director); hopefully this DVD will sell high enough to merit a later re-release incorporating more information to what really is a compelling film. You cannot beat the film for a stellar period piece based on one of America’s most endearing scandalous couple (JFK and Marilyn Monroe); check out this film too if you want to see actors that are on the cusp of becoming the next household thing.

Rating: 8.2/10

An American Affair (DVD) / 2009 Screen Media / 93 Minutes / /

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