I Am JFK Jr Film Review - An Intimate Documentary of the Life of John F. Kennedy Jr

I Am JFK Jr poster, photo courtesy Virgil Films

I Am JFK Jr poster, photo courtesy Virgil Films

SYNOPSIS:  He was the adored son of America’s most glamorous president, and now comes an intimate, revealing and poignant look at his life in and out of the spotlight. Network Entertainment and Spike TV delve into the compelling life of John F. Kennedy Jr. through the distinctive lens of many of the people who knew him best, from A-list celebrities to close friends and staffers who worked closely with him at George magazine, in the original documentary film, “I Am JFK Jr.The White House was the first home John knew. The son of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy grew up in the public spotlight. When the world witnessed the moment the adorable 3-year-old JFK Jr. saluted his fallen father, the image was seared into the nation’s collective memory. [Source: Sapkar PR]

Directed by Derik Murray (I Am Chris Farley, I Am Evel Knievel, I Am Steve McQueen) of Network Entertainment, "I Am JFK Jr." reveals an intimate glimpse into the life of the heir to Camelot, John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Coming from a family considered to be the closest thing to royalty in AmericaJohn F. Kennedy, Jr.was considered to be “America’s Prince.” Supermodel, Cindy Crawford, remembers looking at a magazine clipping her mother had saved of “little John John saluting his father’s casket.” This image has become a defining moment in the American psyche.  “People projected all of their hopes and dreams on this son of this family,” recalls close friend and journalist, Christiane Amanpour

John F. Kennedy Jr. was undeniably charismatic and intriguing. These characteristics led to the early stages of a relentless paparazzi feeding frenzy. Despite living under the media microscope for his entire life, JFK Jr forged his own successful career – from serving as the Assistant District Attorney of New York, to launching the glossy political magazine, George. Featuring exclusive interviews from close friends, college roommates and colleagues, “I Am JFK Jr.” is an engrossing look at the person behind the tabloid fodder featuring untold stories that, for the first time, will give viewers a true sense of the real JFK Jr.

Beautifully enhanced by underwhelming music choices, the film features personal photos from John’s closest friends as well as vintage footage of young JFK Jr in the White House, with his family, and rare views of him in the years after his father’s assassination.  The film gives a sense of the close relationship John had with his mother and fashion icon, Jackie Kennedy. 

I Am JFK Jr.” features interviews with John F. Kennedy Jr’s friends, ranging from Robert De Niroand Cindy Crawford (who graced the cover of the premiere issue of George), to the controversial, such as Mike Tyson and Larry Flynt as well as journalists Christiane Amanpour, Chris Cuomo, Paul Begala and Ann Coulter, to close friends John Perry Barlow (Grateful Dead singer), Sasha Chermayeff, Richard Wiese, Chris Oberbeck, Brian Steel, John Hare, and New York restaurateur, Richie Notar.

Additionally, Michael Reagan (son of the late President Ronald Reagan) and author, Doug Wead, talk about the difficulties and strange destinies of presidential children, actor Kristoffer Polaha talks about the man he would one day play on screen, while authors Christopher Andersen and Laurence Leamer offer background on the life of America’s most famous family. Noticeably absent from the film, however, is John's sister, and the sole living member of the immediate family, Caroline Kennedy

Murray skillfully and tastefully reveals a playful yet compassionate side of JFK Jr. and how, in refusing to succumb to public pressure, indelibly carried on his father’s legacy through publishing.  “I Am JFK Jr.” tells the story of a young man pegged for greatness yet determined to be a “good man,” – a story that ended way too soon.

The film reflects on JFK Jr.’s more compassionate character. He befriended people outside of his social circle and exemplified a degree of humility and modesty despite his stature. JFK Jr. focused, not on following in his father’s footsteps, but rather how he was driven to be a good husband and loyal friend.  He handled the media with grace…”the way he dealt with the news and paparazzi; he didn’t know life any other way,” Chris Cuomo explains.  “He wasn’t famous because of anything he did. He was famous because of his existence.” 

A must see, this documentary is as intriguing and engrossing as JFK Jr himself. The film is the latest in Spike TV’s original “I Am” series. The network debuted “I Am Chris Farley” in 2015 to record ratings and critical acclaim. The documentary is produced by Virgil Films and Network Entertainment.

I Am JFK Jr.” airs on Spike TV on August 1, 2016.  The film will be released on Digital HD on August 2, 2016 followed by a DVD release on August 12, 2016.

View the trailer for “I Am JFK Jr” below: