In the prep-school film “Rushmore,” an unusual love triangle develops when a high school student and a successful businessman both attempt to win the attention of a widowed schoolteacher. The uneven match between the teen and wealthy industrialist provides much of “Rushmore’s” humor and angst.
“An American Affair,” a new film directed by William Sten Olsson and starring Noah Wyle (pictured), super-sizes this dynamic with world-historical implications. Instead of competing against a middle-aged rich guy, the infatuated teen faces a far more daunting romantic rival: President John F. Kennedy.
The story focuses on Adam, a 13-year-old Catholic school student living in Georgetown. His next-door neighbor is Catherine, a sexy thirtysomething involved in an affair with the President. As Adam’s infatuation grows, he works his way closer to Catherine by doing yardwork that facilitates his voyeurism. Amidst Adam’s peeping tomfoolery, an assassination plot stumbles into view, having something to do with the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs.
“An American Affair” takes place during America’s most stylish and Ivy League presidency. And while the film might be best marketed to conspiracy theorists, the Georgetown setting and the clothes loosely tie it to the Ivy style.
The film, however, has largely received negative reviews. — TALIESIN