[Screen It]


(1996) (Jack Lemmon, James Garner) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Minor Moderate Minor Moderate
Mild None Moderate None Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Mild None Minor Moderate

Comedy: Two former presidents who don't like each other must work together to expose a government scandal that endangers their lives.
Republican ex-president Russell Kramer (JACK LEMMON) and Democratic ex-president Matt Douglass (JAMES GARNER) have never gotten along. While Kramer peddles his image to keep his name in the spotlight, Douglass has a reputation for being a ladies man. But when a government scandal intends to take out both of them, the two must work together to expose the cover up and to save their own lives. A rumor has surfaced that a former administration accepted kickbacks from a government contractor, and the current president, William Haney (DAN AYKROYD) and vice president, Ted Matthews (JOHN HURD), want to distance themselves from that scandal. Others, including Tanner (EVERETT McGILL) of the NSA, want the two ex- presidents dead after learning that they survived a deadly explosion and are working together. As the former leaders collect the evidence they need, they attempt to get back to the White House to expose the scandal.
If they're fans of the "Grumpy Old Men" movies, or are fans of any of the actors, they just might.
For salty language and innuendo.
  • JACK LEMMON and JAMES GARNER play two men who don't get along and enjoy "cutting down" the other. Garner's character is known for sleeping around while Lemmon's character is so vain he endlessly promotes himself.


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    This is a somewhat entertaining film that appears to be an attempt to mine some success from the "Grumpy Old" men films, but isn't as funny or as successful at entertaining the audience. Whereas in the "Grumpy" films, Lemmon and Walter Matthau have that long standing and excellent chemistry, Garner and Lemmon take a while to meld together. The film is somewhat surprising in that the plot deals more with investigating the scandal and their running from danger, than in exploring their characters (as in the "Grumpy" movies). While it's not always fair to compare movies, this one would have benefitted a bit more if it didn't have the big national scandal stealing the limelight from the characters. As it is, most of the humor arises from people encountering the two ex-presidents in the most unlikely of places. The rest comes from the verbal sparing between the two leads, but again isn't as funny as in the "Grumpy" movies. The plot has too many implausibilities to be taken seriously (How do the NSA guys always happen upon where the two presidents are but never can catch these two older men?) and not enough humor to make you forget that. While it's certain this film will do well with the older audience, it's doubtful they'll enjoy it as much as they'd like to or should have. We give it a 5 out of 10.
    While audiences will assume that this film is much like the "Grumpy Old Men" movies, it is much more violent. Several people are killed (by gunshots or bombs), and the two former presidents are on the run for their lives throughout most of the movie. One "f" word is heard and a wide assortment of others, including slang terms for male and female genitals, are also uttered. In addition, there are a great many "put downs" used against other people and there's a good amount of sexual references and one post sex scene (where Garner is seen getting dressed, but there's no nudity). If you or your kids want to see this film, we suggest that you read through the category listings to determine whether the material is appropriate.

  • People drink wine and cocktails at a reception.
  • Kramer waters down the liquor bottles in his hotel room.
  • When Kramer's daughter asks if she can get him anything, Douglass says he wants a vodka tonic.
  • Kramer and Douglass get on a train filled with college students who are drinking beer.
  • A bullet hole in a car door window has a little blood around it.
  • Tanner's hand is a little bloody after he's been cut by a sword.
  • The two ex-presidents don't like one another and often hurl insults back and forth at each other (most are meant to be funny).
  • Vice President Matthews hits a golf ball that strikes a black man. Speaking to him moments later, he says, "I know your people. The black people...don't like it (golf) because you can't get into the games...You're so good at other games, it's good that we white people have a sport that you're not good at."
  • In their hotel room Kramer waters down the liquor in the little bottles and then puts them back. When his wife asks if he wants her to grab the little shampoos to take with them, he states that he's already got them.
  • The bad NSA guys try to set up Kramer for the fall of an alleged kickback from a contractor while he was in the White House. Once Kramer and Douglass get wind of this, the NSA guys try to kill both of them.
  • Kramer and Douglass steal a car only to find there's a baby in the back seat. They return it and are then seen with the whole family inside.
  • Some viewers may find the scenes where the NSA men chase and almost catch Kramer and Douglass as tense, but none of them are intended to be as such.
  • Rifles: Used in a 21-gun salute at a funeral.
  • Handgun: Used to kill a man in a car.
  • Toy Water Pistol: Played with by Kramer's grandson and then grabbed by Kramer. Later used to force a helicopter pilot to land.
  • Handgun: Grabbed from the other pilot by Douglass and held on that pilot. He then shoots out the radio to keep the pilots from communicating with the NSA.
  • Bomb: Used to blow up a helicopter. Two people are killed.
  • Missile: Fired by an attack helicopter at an Immigrations helicopter to make it leave the area.
  • Handgun: Held by Douglass on a man in bed with a woman.
  • Handgun: Held by NSA bad guy on Kramer and Douglass with the intent to shoot them.
  • Old sword: Used to cut Tanner's hand, making him drop his gun.
  • Rifle: Used by a sharpshooter to kill Tanner before he shoots Kramer and Douglass.
  • Phrases: "Screw you," "Blow me," "Whore," "Balls" (testicles), "Bastard," "Turd," "Bitch" (to complain), "Shut up," "Stupid," "Piss off," "Idiot," "Sucker," and "Moron."
  • Kramer holds a water pistol on a helicopter pilot acting like it's a real gun.
  • Kramer repeatedly squirts juice from a juice box onto a heckler, claiming he's having muscle spasms.
  • Douglass pushes Kramer from a moving train and then jumps off himself as the two elude the NSA team.
  • None.
  • There is a moderate amount of suspenseful music here and there in the movie.
  • None.
  • 1 "f" word (and 3 uses of "freagin" in its place), 2 "s" words, 5 terms involving male genitals (2 penis, 1 "d*ck," 1 "d*ckhead," 1 "pr*ck"), 1 slang term for female genitals (the "p" word), 24 damns, 19 hells, 7 "ass" words, 4 SOB's (and 3 more incomplete "son of a..."), 2 craps, and 8 uses of "Oh God," 5 uses of "Oh my God," 2 uses of "My God," and 1 use each of "God damn," "Oh Christ," "Sweet Jesus," "For Christ's sake," "God" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • A woman in bed states, "I can't believe I just did it with Matt Douglass." She's covered only with a sheet and while Douglass is getting dressed, he pulls her bra from his underwear.
  • Kramer asks Douglass, "Name three women in D.C. that you didn't bang. Well, name one."
  • Standing between the two ex-presidents at a urinal, a local man can't contain himself. "You're awesome" he tells Douglass who responds, "No fair peaking." The guy extends his hand to shake Douglass' who says, "I can't shake right now. I have to keep my hands on the first penis." Kramer then says, "The first penis?" Douglass replies, "Yeah, that's what I'm going to call it from now on."
  • A Marilyn Monroe look-alike tells Douglass (whom she believes is also an impersonator) that she did it with Douglass on the fourth of July. When he asks how he was, she says, "There was a lot of talk leading up to it, be he didn't do much."
  • Douglass tells another man that Kramer is cranky because "he has a tiny penis."
  • Kramer and Douglass talk about the pizzas made by the White House cook. Kramer says they were like "a wet dream with a crust." Douglass is disgusted by that and Kramer says that there's nothing wrong with wet dreams and "I had a couple myself when I was a kid."
  • Kramer, Douglass and a poor family are all sleeping in the family's camper. The father reaches over in his sleep and begins caressing Kramer's chest.
  • Kramer and Douglass run into and blend in with a parade, unaware that it's the "West Virginia gay men's coalition." A sign reads "We're here and we're queer." Drag queens are seen and the two then escape by getting rides with lesbian motorcyclists nicknamed "dykes with bikes."
  • A man and woman are seen in bed together. They're under the sheets and he's on top of her, kissing her neck. He then goes down under the sheet moving down her body but is stopped by Kramer and Douglass.
  • The poor man from the camper says "I'm not ashamed to admit it. I slept with both those guys" when seeing the two ex-presidents on TV.
  • A person smokes at a reception.
  • One of the bad NSA guys smokes a cigar and another smokes cigarettes.
  • A security guard at Kramer's library smokes a cigar.
  • None.
  • What former presidents really do after they leave office.
  • A car pulls up alongside a parked car with Kramer and a government contractor. A handgun with a silencer is seen and the contractor is shot dead.
  • Kramer holds a water pistol to a helicopter pilot's head to make him land. Douglass grabs the other pilot's gun and shoots out the radio. The two get out and the copter takes off to follow them but then explodes in a huge fireball with its rotor nearly hitting them as it falls to the ground.
  • Someone throws a beer can at Kramer on a train filled with college students.
  • Douglass pushes Kramer from a moving train and then jumps off himself as the two elude the NSA team.
  • An attack helicopter fires a missile at an Immigrations copter as a warning to leave the area.
  • Kramer, Douglass, and a poor family are all sleeping in the family's camper. The sleeping son kicks the covers off and in doing so accidentally kicks Douglass in his crotch.
  • Kramer throws a hot cup of coffee onto the crotch of an NSA guy as he tries to apprehend them.
  • A large statue sign falls onto the NSA guy's car.
  • Douglass whacks a security guard over the head at Kramer's library, thinking that he was one of the bad guys.
  • A man is blindfolded and tied to a chair. A friend of the former presidents acts like he's going to inject something into the man's vein to get him to talk and it works.
  • Tanner holds his gun on Kramer and Douglass, thinking about who to kill first. Kramer then swings the old White House sword he's carrying and slices Tanner's hand. Douglass then punches and knocks him out.
  • A White House sharpshooter shoots Tanner and kills him just as he was ready to shoot the two ex-presidents.

  • Reviewed December 7, 1996

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