An American Affair (1997) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Laughably convoluted grade-b political intrigue which combines various supernatural elements, people who can breathe underwater for fifteen minutes (literally), double crosses in romance and politics, sleazy talk, misfilmed and incomprehensible action sequences,  and virtually no nudity even though people are making love constantly.
Only one thing I need to ask you. How good do you think a movie can be when Corbin Bernsen is billed above the title. 

What more is there to say?


Maryam d'Abo briefly shows her nipple in a bathtub scene.

There is also an exposed breast from an obvious body double for Jayne Heitmeyer.

Bernsen reaches for some new acting depths in this film, as he throws several tantrums, and slaps himself in the head any time somebody surprises him (D'oh!). 

He's a DA who  sleeps with one girl, then marries her best friend, but keeps having an affair with the original woman. Or were the two women just testing him? Then he kills his wife, but she comes back from the dead. (Her mystical yoga powers allow her to stop her own heartbeat.) And then the wife helps a political rival set him up or something. It all involves false deaths and guns that fire blanks and I don't know what else because I got so bored with it.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen version

  • no meaningful features (a trailer and some cheesy filmographies)

If MST3K were still on the air, they would be doing this film. The script is poor, the direction is worse (the hot technique: people walking toward, then past, a stationary camera, and we see a shoulder occupy the whole screen as they pass - exactly the same technique I used to use when I made my own videos and had nobody to hold the camera!), and the acting is worst of all.

Per IMDb, the director has never directed anything else, neither of the writers has ever written anything else.

And if I got a vote, it would stay that way.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 3.3, which is about as low as a movie can go when it is sequential and clearly photographed.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an E. The photography is in focus, clear and colorful, rescuing it from an F.

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