If you just haven't had enough of presidential candidates who don't like each other, and who spend their time sniping about who is the better man, then have I got a movie for you.
If you're looking for a comedy about two mismatched guys on the run to foil a criminal conspiracy, forget "My Fellow Americans" and rent "The In-Laws."
"My Fellow Americans" is a classic case of Hollywood execs thinking that because they have a cast and a concept, they therefore have a movie.
They forgot only two things - a script and a competent director.
Jack Lemmon plays ex-President Russell P. Kramer, a tightwad Republican, who was beaten by philandering Democrat Matt Douglas (James Garner), who in turn was ousted by Kramer's one-time vice president, William Haney (Dan Aykroyd).
Douglas and Kramer hate each other but are thrown together on Air Force One on the way to a state funeral. They immediately renew their rivalry.
Soon, however, they are taking their bickering on the road, with government assassins in hot pursuit. It seems that Haney is putting the blame for a scandal at Kramer's feet, and it would be convenient for both to be out of the way.
Yes, this is one of those movies where "secret" conspirators go WAY out of their way to do conspicuous things. It's also too much to expect us to believe half the intelligence community is willing to kill two presidents on sight.
But that's not necessarily a problem. The plot in a movie like this doesn't have to make sense, as long as the laughs keep coming. But this movie is stingier with laughs than Kramer is with a dollar - and actually seems to think the plot matters!
Garner comes off best in nearly every exchange, with Lemmon's character having to settle for sputtering "Sc-w you!" in reply. The "Odd Couple"-lite dialogue relies on us thinking it's just funny hearing grumpiest old men spit epithets at each other that test the movie's PG-13 rating. Squandering these two fine performers like this is truly waste of proportions usually reserved for government.
But the waste doesn't stop there. Dan Aykroyd heads a stellar cast of supporting
performers including Lauren Bacall, John Heard, Wilford Brimley and Sela Ward, who are given little to do in what amount to a series of cameos.
The movie's other main comic gimmick is the reactions the two ex-commanders in chief get from extraordinarily stupid "ordinary" people they meet on their cross-country expedition.
Director Peter Segal, whose big claim to infamy to this point was "Tommy Boy," shows a remarkable grasp of the obvious, but no sense of timing or pace.
Speaking of getting too wrapped up in the plot, this interminable movie has no less than three false endings, when what we're really hoping for is just one - and as soon as possible.