Parents' Guide to

First Lady

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Skip this poorly made, agenda-driven dramedy.

Movie PG 2020 101 minutes
First Lady Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

Its a comedy, and introduces the idea of politics and government

Not sure what narcotics the "proffesional reviewer" was taking, but if this is their idea of "far right", I'd suggest they stay away from anything about WW2, or frankly, anyone whose name is not Marx. Its OK. Its American. Its cheesy. You can watch, and talk about the issues it raises (if you feel so inclined), or you can leave it on whilst you have an hour peace and quiet with some wine, without worrying about Suzie-May coming in and rolling off a list of profanities. "Far right". Do me a favour.
age 14+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Although political parties are never mentioned in writer-director Nina May's forgettable dramedy, its far-right themes ultimately overwhelm the story. That said, it's unclear to whom First Lady is targeted, given its swings between the overtly political "save the dignity of the White House from paid protesters" storyline and the Princess Diaries-meets-Prince and the Pauper subplot. You see, Kathryn's office agrees to house a fictional European princess and her personal bodyguard (Corbin Bernsen), who's actually the princess's grandfather and king of said fake country. Decades earlier, King Max (another widower) pretended not to be the prince in order to hang out with then college-aged Kate, the daughter of a high-ranking diplomat. The problem with all of this is that the movie's production design is so poor that audiences will spot the vinyl stickers used as presidential seals and the various ways cheap sets are supposed to be the West Wing.

Aside from Stafford, who takes her role seriously, the acting is mostly phoned in (Bernsen's accent is cringeworthy, and most of the administration staff don't come across as professional actors). There are also way too many plot lines. In addition to Kate and Max's will-they-or-won't-they romance, the new president -- who also has a conveniently dead spouse -- gets his own blossoming relationship with a government employee whom Kathryn objects to because she's friends with her rival from across the aisle. Then there's the movie's most ludicrous of stories: the one about "professional protesters" being paid to chant outside the White House. This is straight out of the often debunked fringe-right media narrative that young political protesters are paid by liberal billionaires. The fact that this is such a prominent theme of First Lady makes it clear that the filmmakers want audiences to believe it's true (a brief internet search around May confirms this). This isn't a director making a movie so much as producing propaganda.

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