On the morning of his reelection, President Joe Staton (Dennis Quaid) decides to read the newspaper for the first time in four years, starting him down a slippery slope in the eyes of both his doting First Lady (Marcia Gay Harden) and his manipulative Chief of Staff (Willem Dafoe). Holed up in pajamas in his bedroom, the President begins obsessively reading and reexamining his formerly black-and-white view of the world, shocked at what he is discovering. Frightened by his boss’ apparent nervous breakdown—and plummeting approval rating—the Chief pushes him back into the spotlight by booking him as a guest judge on a TV ratings beast: weekly talent show “American Dreamz.”
Films and television have long satirized presidents and politics. “Saturday Night Live” has done it regularly for years. And that is exactly what “American Dreamz” is all about. Dennis Quaid plays the president, and his similarities to President Bush are too close to home to be denied. The film brings up his past, such as a battle with the bottle years ago, and also mocks his Christian faith as he is shown reading his Bible and coming across as half-cocked. I can understand frustrated Americans using the media to speak out against the war. They have a right to do so. But for Christians, here is another example of their faith in Christ being maligned. This film has too much strong language in it to be approved by Dove as family friendly, and it also has the host of “American Dreamz” sleeping with a contestant. One other content note – an effeminate character is seen throughout the film.