Monday, June 17, 2024

Kennedy Family Won’t Be Too Happy with Marilyn Monroe References in “White House Down”


Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down” gets its New York premiere tonight. But many people saw it last week and know at least one thing: the Kennedy family will not be in the audience at any screenings. A big part of the “White House Down” story has to do with fabled tunnels that supposedly run beneath the White House. It’s where Channing Tatum takes Jamie Foxx, who plays the president, when the White House is attacked. How do they know about the tunnels? “It’s where John Kennedy took Marilyn Monroe to have sex,” says someone in the movie– I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it. Later, Tatum asks someone else if this is true, and he is assured that it is. Well, of course, it’s not. But at that point “White House Down” has unexpectedly become a comedy anyway, so we’re supposed to laugh it off. The whole tunnel thing, like JFK and Marilyn, is a myth. The latter is offered as anecdote through the ages. On the season finale of “Veep,” the best comedy on TV right now, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Selita makes reference to it also. It’s a brief but pungent moment.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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