Slightly based on the life (and death) of Mary Meyer, An American Affair is a rather enjoyable drama in which a young boy almost winds up as The Boy Who Knew Too Much. Young Adam (Cameron Bright) is your average Catholic school American youth who enjoys being a prick to his schoolmates, gluing his teeth back in when they get punched out on the playground, and wanking off to his dad’s Playboys. Adam lives with his folks (Noah Wyle and Perrey Reeves) in their Washington D.C. home. One night, the lad catches a glimpse of a bare-chested sexpot across the street named Catherine Caswell (Gretchen Mol), and instantly falls in love with her. Convincing her to hire him for yard work, the artist Catherine in-turn teaches Adam a few aspects about free-spiritedness, and how to look at life in a different light.
Unfortunately, things aren’t a matter of black-and-white in a place like Washington D.C. — and between Catherine’s “friendship” with President John F. Kennedy and the amount of shady men in suits lingering about, Adam is about to find himself an unwanted party to a major conspiracy. James Rebhorn and Mark Pellegrino co-star as some of the shady D.C. characters.
Screen Media brings us An American Affair on DVD in a bright and decent anamorphic widescreen transfer. The quality here is about as good as it can get for Standard Definition, and the autumn leaves of Baltimore (where the movie was filmed) are quite colorful. The English 5.1 soundtrack (the only one to be found on this release) comes through fine with no blemishes, although, as usual, there isn’t a whole lot of action going on for the rear speakers to get a workout. Optional Spanish subtitles are included and the disc in Closed Captioned.
Screen Media doesn’t go out of their way to add any extras to this indie flick (which was actually made in 2007), but they did include a few deleted scenes. All of the scenes were pretty much cut out for a reason and aren’t worth looking at, save for an oddly comical moment where Adam visits his dentist (played by Bill D’Elia). A couple of trailers are tacked on in front of the movie.
An American Affair isn’t a bad film. It may not focus on the JFK conspiracy as much as many people would like it to (instead, the film is shown from an alternate viewpoint — that of an innocent child who is oblivious to the adult world around him), but I rather fair enough. Although, truth be told, I liked the film’s original title, Boy Of Pigs, much better. Too bad the general public wouldn’t have “got it” — although Boy Of Pigs probably would have fared better in the video store. I could hear the complaints now: “Yeah, hi, I got this movie ‘cuz I thought it’d be about a cannibal boy raised by pigs that eats the naked blonde draped in the flag on the cover — but it’s some drama about that liberal Kennedy instead!”