Film / My Fellow Americans

A 1996 comedy film directed by Peter Segal and starring Jack Lemmon and James Garner. Also in the cast are Dan Aykroyd, John Heard, Wilford Brimley, and Lauren Bacall.

The film centers around two politically (and personally) opposed former Presidents of the United States, who are forced to go on the run together after they find themselves on the receiving end of a conspiracy to hide the current President having taken a kickback.

The film provides examples of:

  • Butch Lesbian: Douglas and Kramer hitch a ride with a gang of butch bikers.
    Kramer: After that ride, I'm changing my position on an important issue. The military could definitely use some of those gals.
  • Camp Gay / Straight Gay: Secret Service Sniper Ralph Flemming manages to be BOTH. Basically he plays it up in a pride parade.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: When on the run, the Presidents encounter the person under Camp Gay/Straight Gay. He helps them catch a ride to their next destination and gives them a parting gift and this gift is how he later identifies them as the real Presidents and saves their lives.
  • Curse Cut Short: The final words of the movie.
    My Fellow Americans...
    You son of a bit-]
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Matthews. Justified because, well, he is a Vice President (and he's clearly modeled after Dan Quayle.) The ending reveals he's faking it to pull Obfuscating Stupidity... and then he unknowingly demonstrates it again while explaining this.
  • The Dragon: While the film paints Agent Tanner as the Big Bad, he is later revealed to be VP Matthews' Dragon.
  • Gallows Humor: "...They're down."
  • Groin Attack: From riding a horse: "When this is over promise me we'll come back and look for my balls."
  • I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Blinky, The First Penis.
  • Indy Ploy: "What am I, fuckin MacGyver? I'm makin this up as I go." note 
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Douglas is clearly modeled on Bill Clinton whereas Kramer is clearly modeled on George H.W. Bush.
  • Not So Different: The point of the movie is that if Douglas and Kramer hadn't spent so much time trying to politically destroy each other, they might have been friends.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Matthews. Though still not the brightest bulb, he's nowhere near as moronic as his public persona.
    "Funny thing is everybody thinks I'm this big idiot, and its all a big facade." (While mispronouncing facade as fah-sid)
  • Precision F-Strike: Downplayed. The movie's one use of the F Word goes by so quickly that if you're not paying attention you might miss it.
    • Also discussed. "If you're gonna use the F-word, go for the gold."
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Douglas and Kramer, respectively.
  • Title Drop: See above.
  • Torture Always Works: Twisted and double subverted. He never gets tortured, he cracks under the threat, which fulfills the same purpose. However there never was any torture, he wasn't about to be dosed up with drugs, the needle he felt was simply a sewing needle.
  • Vice President Who?: Matthews is really dumb (a No Celebrities Were Harmed mock version of Dan Quayle). This turns out to be partly Obfuscating Stupidity, as he is essentially the Big Bad.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: By the end of the film. See Not So Different.
  • With Lyrics: Kramer and Douglas both came up with personal lyrics for Hail To the Chief just to deal with having to hear it so many times.