Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally titled America's Son, this cable-TV biopic of John F. Kennedy Jr. begins at the end, with the plane crash of July 19, 1999, that took the lives of Kennedy, his wife Caroline, and his sister-in-law. From this tragic vantage point, the film segues into flashbacks detailing the very public life of J.F.K. Sr.'s only son, of whom it was once said, "The world knew his name before he did." Based on The Day John Died, a book by George Andersen, the film intimates that "John-John" would have been happy charting his own course in life, but was instead channelled into following in the Kennedy tradition by his iron-willed mother Jacqueline (played by Jacqueline Bisset, who'd previously essayed an à clef version of Jackie O. in the theatrical feature The Greek Tycoon). Thus, John enters law school, where he is twice humiliated by failing to pass the bar exam. Finally, as editor of the high-profile George magazine, John can stand on his own merits and not as an adjunct of the Kennedy mystique. Naturally, the film devotes time aplenty to J.F.K. Jr.'s well-publicized romances, notably his lengthy association with actress Daryl Hannah (here played by Tara Chocol) and his ultimate marriage to Caroline Bessette (Portia de Rossi). Somewhat undercutting the credibility of the restaged scenes is the producers' utilization of interviews with the actual friends and associates of John Jr. -- not to mention film clips of the "real" Kennedy, employed as bridges between scenes. America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story debuted January 12, 2003, on TBS.
law-student, politician, son, editor, magazine, romance, marriage