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An American Affair

  • Film
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

1 out of 5 stars
It’s 1963, hairstyles are flipped, and TVs blast only iconic JFK newsreel footage. Catherine Caswell (Mol), hotcha artist divorcée, moves in across the street from sullen teen Adam Stafford (Bright). The new neighbor attracts the boy’s feverishly hormonal gaze by lingering in states of undress by the window (we know she’s bohemian because she makes annoying pronouncements like “Form is dead”). Soon, she’s tolerating the kind of behavior from Adam that any rational person would call stalking, including his hiding in her closet during one of her trysts. But Caswell, who’s also drawn the attention of someone more statesmanlike, has a few personal quirks of her own. Nothing says damaged goods like daytime drinking and affairs with doomed Presidents.
Stuck in William Olsson’s awkward melding of coming-of-age tale and political conspiracy thriller, Mol tries her best to make something of a role that’s half siren and half mourning mommy. How the assassination plot fits within this moist-pawed saga of unlikely friendship is fuzzy at best. Caswell’s ex-spouse, a CIA spook, keeps pressuring her to talk to her lover about “Bobby” and “Langley.” That’s as in-depth as it gets. By the end, you wonder if either Olsson or screenwriter Alex Metcalf even bothered to read the Cuban Missile Crisis entry on Wikipedia.
Written by Alison Willmore

Cast and crew

  • Director:William Olsson
  • Cast:
    • Gretchen Mol
    • Cameron Bright
    • Noah Wylie
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