Shaped by memory, textured with nostalgia for a class and culture I had abandoned, this novel quite naturally became an expression of the expatriate consciousness.
It took me a decade of painful introspection to put nostalgia in perspective and to make the transition from expatriate to immigrant. After a year stay in Canada, I forced my husband and our two sons to relocate to the United States. But the transition from foreign student to U. The years in Canada were particularly harsh. Canada is a country that officially, and proudly, resists cultural fusion.
It is a New World country with Old World concepts of a fixed, exclusivist national identity. One example: In a terrorist bomb, planted in an Air-India jet on Canadian soil, blew up after leaving Montreal, killing passengers, most of whom were Canadians of Indian origin. Those years of race-related harassments in Canada politicized me and deepened my love of the ideals embedded in the American Bill of Rights. But through their declaration, they provided us with the enthusiasm for human rights, and the initial framework from which other empowerments could be conceived and enfranchised communities expanded.
I am not an economic refugee, nor am I a seeker of political asylum.
I am a voluntary immigrant. I became a citizen by choice, not by simple accident of birth. Yet these days, questions such as who is an American and what is American culture are being posed with belligerence, and being answered with violence. Hate speeches fill auditoriums for demagogues willing to profit from stirring up racial animosity. An April Gallup poll indicated that half of Americans would like to bar almost all legal immigration for the next five years.
The United States, like every sovereign nation, has a right to formulate its immigration policies. All countries view themselves by their ideals. Indians idealize the cultural continuum, the inherent value system of India, and are properly incensed when foreigners see nothing but poverty, intolerance, strife, and injustice. Americans see themselves as the embodiments of liberty, openness, and individualism, even as the world judges them for drugs, crime, violence, bigotry, militarism, and homelessness.
I was in Singapore in when the American teenager Michael Fay was sentenced to caning for having spraypainted some cars. The sinister implication was that our national identity is so fragile that it can absorb diverse and immigrant cultures only by recontextualizing them as deficient. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
I thought that JoBeth Williams was absolutely adorable. She was so fun to watch.
Some of them are even true. Technical Specs. I was in Singapore in when the American teenager Michael Fay was sentenced to caning for having spraypainted some cars. You're not signed in. Crazy Credits.
The directing was very clever. When Rebecca is trying to communicate to Victor that he is in danger and resorts to semaphore with her wrap, I just about lose it every time. If your looking for a light-hearted, romantic comedy, they don't come cuter than this.
I would love to see this movie come out on DVD. It would be a welcome addition to my collection. Until then, I'll just have to settle for watching it on the the old Video Cassette Recorder. Start your free trial.
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Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. At the start of ''American Dreamer,'' Cathy wins a contest for having submitted the best plot outline for a new novel featuring the apparently hugely popular Rebecca Ryan. Rebecca Ryan is a fictional character who goes around the world having close brushes with death and handsome men as she settles international crises.
Cathy's prize is a free trip to Paris for two to meet the actual author of the Ryan novels, though she must make the trip alone because her husband James Staley is too busy with his boring job and boring friends. Shortly after she arrives in Paris, Cathy gets conked on the head and wakes up believing she really is Rebecca Ryan and really is in the middle of some totally incomprehensible political plot.
Miss Williams ''Poltergeist,'' ''The Big Chill'' is, under better conditions, a most attractive performer, as is her co-star, Tom Conti, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in ''Reuben, Reuben,'' but they're something less than attractive here. Conti plays a remarkably patient fellow, falling in love with the clearly bonkers American woman who's under the delusion she's the character in the books written by Mr. Conti's mother Coral Browne. It's not even trashy.
It has no identity whatsoever other than that of its scenery, which includes the magnificent Vaux-le-Vicomte, the palace that prompted a jealous Louis XIV to upgrade Versailles as a fit setting for a Sun King. View all New York Times newsletters. Ann Biderman receives credit as ''story originator,'' apparently for having written ''the first script of 'American Dreamer' from a story from director Roger Vadim.