American Prince

American Prince

Directed by Wes Pierce

Starring Marlon Brando, Ricky Martin, Courtney Cox, Troy Aikman

American culture contains a morbid fascination with the Kennedy Family. With no drunken, debauched Royal Family to entertain us between car crashes, We the People have latched on to the drunken, debauched first family of Hyannisport. And you gotta admit, they know how to crash a car. Or an airplane. One of the sadder aftermaths of the John Kennedy Jr. plane crash is this hastily produced biopic, telling the capsule story of the one Kennedy who never entered public life, kept to himself, and avoided the roving glass eye of the tabloids. I’ll spare the details — you either have the shrine on the wall, or you vote Republican. In a nutshell, rich boy grows up privileged, takes flying lessons, augers in. The big difference is they got the Navy to recover his Amex Titanium Card — it’s still good for a few frequent flyer miles.

John Jr. (Ricky Martin) grew up in a sad mixture of tragedy and privilege. An astounding performance of pre-Dallas JFK by Troy Aikman, assisted by Courtney Cox as the young, interesting Jackie K set the stage for JJ’s birth and formative years. His later life seems overshadowed by evil step dad Ari Onassis (Brando) and the later, really boring Jackie O (Susan Sarandon). Marriage to supermodel Carolyn Bissette and his subsequent plunge are almost anticlimactic, excepting the lame special effects and implication that the crash was actually a conspiracy by Rupert Murdoch. Tsk tsk.

Does JFK Jr. deserve sainthood for simply having a brother on the 50 cent piece? Is the Kennedy family cursed by bootlegger pappy Joe’s sleazy business dealings? Does anyone really want to see Jackie nude? Deep down, can the Bush clan produce the sleaze needed to grab the title “Kings of Condoms”? This quickie gives the same guilty pleasure as reading tabloids in the check out line.

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