D.C. Through Film

By Katherine Fritcke

America’s real past time involves going to the movies. When we see a destination on film we are ready to hop on a plane and go experience it for ourselves. This is just the case when visiting Washington D.C. I have compiled a list of five very different movies that feature D.C. as the backdrop.

1. The American President (1995)

Staring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening, this rom-com. It is the basic love story of President Andrew Shepherd (Douglas) is approaching the end of his first term and winds up falling in love with Sydney Ellen Wade (Bening), a paid political activist working for an environmental lobby group. He’s immediately smitten with her and after several amusing attempts, they finally manage to go on a date. It all culminates in a beautiful speech and this reaction…

2. Dave (1993)

Staring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, Bill Mitchell (Kline) is the philandering and distant President of the United States. Dave Kovic (also Kline) owns a Temp Agency and by a staggering coincidence looks exactly like the President. One day President Mitchell wants to escape an official luncheon, so the Secret Service hires Dave to stand in for him. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffers a severe stroke whilst having sex with one of his aides, and Dave finds himself stuck in the role indefinitely. His corrupt Chief of Staff, Bob Alexander (Frank Langellia), plans to use Dave to elevate himself to the White House – but unfortunately, he doesn’t count on Dave enjoying himself in office, using his luck to make the country a better place, and falling in love with the beautiful First Lady (Weaver).

3. National Treasure (2004)

Staring Nicholas Cage, this may be his best movie ever! It is full of history of not only the major political figures in our country, but also about the basic foundation of our society. Plus, Ben Gates (Cage) steals the Declaration of Independence.

4. Ides of March (2011)

Staring George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, and Ryan Gosling, Stephen Meyers (Gosling) is an idealist who’s brilliant at communications, is second in command of Governor Mike Morris’s (Clooney) presidential campaign. In the middle of the Ohio primary, the campaign manager of Morris’s opponent (Giamatti) asks Meyers to meet and he offers him a job.

5. Dick (1999)

In this quirky comedy staring Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams, Betsey Jobs (Dunst) and Arlene Lorenzo (Williams) are two high school girls who wander off during a class trip to the White House and meet President Richard Nixon. They become the official dog walkers for Nixon’s dog Checkers, and become his secret advisors during the Watergate scandal.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. The Bourne Identity (2002)
  2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  3. Wag the Dog (1997)
  4. Independence Day (1996)

Did your favorite D.C. based film not get mentioned? Let me know about your favorite by leaving a note in the comment section.

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