Dave (1993)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Dave</strong> (1993)

(On Cable TV, December 2018) There have been quite a few movies about the American presidency, but few of them as cutely romantic as Dave, in which a presidential impersonator gets the job on a long-term basis when the real president is medically incapacitated. The plot is familiar from there, but the real fun of the picture has to be seeing Kevin Kline in a dual role, with Sigourney Weaver as the wife who suspects that something is afoot, and Frank Langella as the villain trying to take over the United States through an unwitting patsy. Ving Rhames and Laura Linney also show up in smaller early roles. Oliver Stone has a funny cameo. Clearly, director Ivan Reitman is aiming more for a feel-good romantic fantasy than a hard-edged political thriller, especially given how the film plays with the idea of the everyday man replacement being better in all aspects of the job than the original. There’s an interesting comparison to be made here with near-contemporary The American President, but also with the classic idealistic films by Frank Capra, in which he took pleasure in scrutinizing the American political system to reveal the good intentions underneath it. Dave is a lightweight comedy, but a charming one, and certainly a welcome antidote to the kinds of heavier thrillers that the American presidency usually invites.

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