CINEMA: WHERE NICE GUYS FINISH FIRST

HE'S CUTE, HE'S SMART, HE'S A LIBERAL. PRESIDENT MICHAEL DOUGLAS COULD WIN AN ELECTION ANYWHERE, AS LONG AS IT'S HOLLYWOOD

THE TAKE-CHARGE LOBBYIST IS scolding White House officials about the President of the United States. "Your boss," she says, "is the Chief Executive of Fantasyland!" In The American President, this speech is mainly a meet-cute device--a way to put lobbyist Sydney Wade (Annette Bening) on a collision course with President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) before they become friends, lovers and the stuff of tabloid scandal. But the line is also a clue to the politics of this witty romantic comedy, written by Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men) and directed by Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally...). It's a liberal fantasy--a...

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