I have lots – Gone with the Wind (even though Scarlett was a spoilt and selfish brat!), Dr Zhivago (oh, the sweet agony of Yuri and Lara’s doomed passion), Somewhere in Time (with Christopher Reeve travelling back in time to meet actress Jane Seymour), even South Pacific and The Sound of Music.
But I think I’ll have to go for ‘The American President’ for several reasons – the romance, the comedy, the politics all combine well together..
Michael Douglas plays a credible President Andrew Shepherd, a widower who falls for environmentalist lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening). Their relationship gives the President’s political opponent the opportunity to launch an attack on his character. Politics also comes into it when the President does a deal which means he breaks a promise to Sydney in order to salvage his political career. When he realises what a huge mistake he has made in not being honest to himself, he makes a speech to the press that is guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. The movie is a feel-good romantic comedy with a lot of fun moments as well as the serious political stuff, and when Sydney arrives breathlessly in the Oval Office after Shepherd’s speech, it’s the ‘awww!’ moment that everyone loves in a romantic movie.
Maybe I also need to add that a certain Mr Sheen also appears in this movie, as Chief of Staff - which seems VERY strange once you’ve watched ‘The West Wing’ and seen him playing the President for seven seasons!
When I discovered that Aaron Sorkin, who wrote ‘The American President’, also wrote the first four seasons of ‘The West Wing’ (and the same Oval Office set was used in the first season too), I decided to buy the first season of TWW. The rest, as they say, is history! As a result, I finally returned to writing fiction after many years, West Wing fan-fiction to begin with and then novels again. So I will always be indebted to ‘The American President’!