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|Index||122 reviews in total|
I loved this movie. It's just that simple. I've seen it several times and
the charm never wears off. Yes, it is a 'feel good movie', but is that so
As I read some of the other comments about this movie on IMDB, I realize that cynicism can easily get in the way of just enjoying a movie for what it is.
Kevin Kline is terrific and so is the rest of the cast. Also, the insertion of so many real politicians and pundits playing themselves adds a nice tough. I thoroughly recommend this movie! I could give it no less than a 10.
This film just has greatness written all over it! First you have a great
director, Ivan Reitman, then you have a slew of great actors: Kevin Kline,
Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kinsley,
Charles Grodin and Laura Linney. All the actors did a great job in this
film. The film is sometimes funny, and sometimes touching. It's all very
well done in this film. The story is a very interesting one, and not too
There really isn't much to say other than if you like any of these actors or director above, then you should probably see this film. Or, if you think you'd like a little comedy/drama, then check it out. I really enjoyed this film and I hope you will as well. Thanks for reading,
"Dave" should have been a pure mess of a movie, but instead it is a highly enjoyable film which has great elements of comedy and drama. Kevin Kline stars as the title character who must impersonate the president of the United States after the real president suffers a massive heart attack which has left him in a coma. "Dave" goes for laughs, but also has a great deal of drama which keeps the audience intrigued throughout. Frank Langella does some of the best work of his career. Sigourney Weaver, Ving Rhames, Charles Grodin, and Ben Kingsley are all perfectly cast in supporting roles. The screenplay is smart and the direction never loses its focus. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I've recently had the opportunity of viewing "Dave" and thoroughly
enjoyed it. As did the whole family. Three of my grandchildren watched
it and I didn't have to explain a thing. No sex (well none worth
worrying about), no violence, and not too taxing on the brain, a
Pre 9/11 it's true, and all to be taken with a pinch of salt, but after all that's gone on in the White House over the years, I found it not totally implausible. Fact is stranger than fiction in that place.
The movie itself was cleverly crafted and didn't get over-bogged down with mush. The multi-talented Kevin Kline was excellent in the "double" role, Sigourney Weaver enchanting as the First Lady, Ben Kingsley reliable as ever as the Vice-President, but it was Frank Langella as the WH Chief of Staff who stole the show. He was superb.
To those who may say that "Dave" doesn't give a true reflection on American politics or make a political statement, I would agree with them, but then it surely didn't mean to. Its just a charming little comedy and/or love story that's easy on mind and eye, and for what its worth I thought it was great...so there!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is a great combination of romance, feelgood politics and a few
I can watch this over and over again and enjoy it every time. Kevin Kline puts in a pitch-perfect performance in both his roles, but Sigourney Weaver, as ever, has genius.
The minor roles too (Wayans, Linney, Grodin) are good too. As is Frank Langella.
My only quibble is the ending - like no-one's going to notice that the First Lady is going with a guy who looks exactly like the dead President? Eeuw.
But the rest of the movie is so great, I'll forgive it!
Of all the movies about the President released in the 1990's, Dave was the first and the best. Kevin Kline plays a dual role. He plays President Bill Mitchell, and Dave Kovic, a look-alike for the chief executive. When he is asked to fill in for him as a decoy, he jumps to serve his nation. However, the real Bill Mitchell suffers a stroke and lays comatose. That's when the White House Chief of Staff, Bob (Frank Langella) and the Press Secretary, Alan (Kevin Dunn) convince Dave to stay on. According to them, the Vice President (Ben Kingsley) is mentally unbalanced. Dave, being naive, falls for it. However, they do not count on a generally nice guy wanting to really play the part of chief executive. He figures out their plan and turns the table, wanting to do real public policy that will make a true difference. Sigourney Weaver plays the estranged First Lady who must be kept in the dark, which is half the battle during this wonderful comedy. I liked this movie on so many levels. The first was that this movie was not silly slapstick humor like First Kid, nor did it resort to preachiness and making a political point in The American President. Dave also did not rely on excessive action in Air Force One. Instead, we have the basic idea that if we get good, honest people elected to office, good things will happen. Almost Capra-esquire, the film is earnest, not wanting to push one political agenda over another. What makes this message work is the restrained direction of Ivan Reitman, and the subtle, yet honest performance of Kevin Kline (one of the best actors ever). One of the most entertaining aspect of this movie is watching actual members of Congress, the Washtingon Press Corps, and popular entertainment making cameos. This is what gave the movie a sense of realism. Finally, Reitman helps the audience fall for the plot. He makes it so believable, honest and true. In the end, the audience will realize that politics will not mend our nation, but rather honest people will. In any case of all the movies about the President, this is the best one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another "feel good" movie from Ivan Reitman? Who'da thunk it?
Seriously, folks, that's not at all a bad thing. Firstly, I must say
that I am a died in the wool Reitman fan, and from that perspective,
this review may be considered biased. Reitman's nearly incomparable
ability to craft sweetly funny, heart touching, tongue in cheek films
is at the core of this movie, as well.
The premise: Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline), proprietor of an temporary employment agency and part time Presidential impersonator, is spotted and recruited by the Secret Service to do a brief "body double" appearance for current President William Harrison Mitchell at a Washington networking dinner. Although explained to Dave as "doubling for the President in exposed situations", in reality he is the scandal stopping alibi for Mitchell, currently Lewinski-ing his secretary Randi (a very small part for the tremendously talented Laura Linney). Simple enough, until the unthinkable happens: Mitchell, while in flagrante delicto, suffers a massive stroke and becomes completely incapacitated.
With a little ingenuity, this may have been covered up and smoothed over simply by transferring leadership to the Vice President, as specified by law. However, White House Chief of Staff Bob Alexander (Frank Langella) has other ideas entirely. Seizing on the opportunity to obtain his greatest ambition, the Presidential office for himself, Alexander decides to take matters into his own hands. Enlisting the reluctant aid of Press Secretary Alan Reed (Kevin Dunn), together they convince Dave that, for the good of the country and the world at large, he must continue to double for the President until Mitchell recovers from his "slight circulatory problem of the head". Suddenly, this very down to earth guy finds himself in the most unreal of circumstances, thought of by all but a handful of insiders to BE the actual President of the United States.
Although smoothly sailing at the start, as time passes, things begin to become complicated. Dave's naturally sweet personality, gentle sense of fun and moral character are by no means similar to Mitchell's, and cannot help but surface. Soon, the watchdogs of Washington, and the American public, begin to notice the difference. So does the First Lady. Estranged from her husband although living under the same roof, the more time she spends with Dave, the more keenly aware she is of the change in her "husband". She begins to have her suspicions that all is not as it seems. And Dave, becoming more immersed and comfortable in his new role, decides to stretch his wings and take a shot at actually DOING the President's job for real, much to the growing consternation of Bob Alexander.
Now: Could this happen in real life? Probably not. With all of the security, surveillance and snooping that certainly goes on every day in Washington, could the two "Pit vipers", Alexander and Reed, really pull this off? Oh, hell, no. Would a woman not know her husband even if she confronted him naked in the shower? As as woman, I doubt it. We ALWAYS know. But, to paraphrase the moderator of The Mclaughlin Report, "the correct answer is": Who cares? This film was never meant to be "Murder at 1600" or "The Shadow Conspiracy". No, think of it more as "Air Bud Goes to Washington". A delightful departure from reality. A delicious "What if...?" story.
Reitman films are NEVER believable. That is precisely what makes them so wonderful. Yes, this movie asks you to suspend belief for about two hours. Yes, it asks you to swallow the idea that Dave could fool not only the First Lady, but his cabinet, Congress, and the country at large. In fact, it seems he has convinced everyone except "Oliver", a delicious cameo appearance by Oliver Stone on Larry King's show.
My best advice on "Dave": Just watch it and love it for what it is. Forget the "plot accuracies" and the "believability factor". Watch the actors, who are superb. Part of what makes Reitman films so watchable is the interaction between the players, the subtle sub plots and undercurrents to the story. Sigorney Weaver is excellent as First Lady Ellen Mitchell. Kevin Dunn does a marvelous job with the conflicted Alan Reed, bound by past misdeeds and present schemes to Bob Alexander yet finding a growing respect and affection for Dave. Ving Rhames is perfectly cast as Duane Stevenson, the President's personal Secret Service man. Stoic and unyieldingly correct, he also finds himself becoming attached to Kline's easily lovable Dave, as does legendary actor Ben Kingsley in his role as Vice President Nance.
Kevin Kline, as usual, turns in a workmanlike performance, making Everyman Dave Kovic someone you'd love to have for your own friend. More, he makes you wish a guy like him would actually BE elected President. And what do you say about Frank Langella? He's always magnetic. Those deeply penetrating eyes with their deadly glare, that softly evil voice. Listen carefully to his dialog. Spoken softly, it doesn't do for you to miss his delivery of some of the best lines in the film. His facial expressions say more than ten pages of script could ever. Speaking of facial expressions, watch Charles Grodin as Murray Blum, Dave's accountant friend, especially in the closing scenes of the movie. Hilarious without saying a word.
In case you haven't gathered, I loved this movie. I've watched it countless times, and highly recommend it as a charming, witty and touching break from the reality of politics and life in general. Buy this film. You'll be glad you did.
Just saw Dave again after many years, and was impressed by how well it
plays in 2006. The tale of a common man taking the place of the
President of the USA may have seemed more appropriate to Clinton's
time, but it's still full of satirical barbs that keep it contemporary.
The cast is flawless, and the direction is clean. Kevin Kline plays it earnestly and Sigourney Weaver is believable. Frank Langella is a perfect villain. Seeing all the real-life politicos and news-people still make it great fun. I found it very reminiscent of Mr. Smith goes to Washington with Kline doing a great modern Jimmy Stewart. Frank Capra would approve.
Bob Mitchell is the typical US president. Dodgy, rich, adulterous, you
know the rest. Whilst he is supposed to attend a function he uses a
double, the nice guy Dave Kovic, as a stand-in so he can spend the
night with his secretary. However, after he suffers a massive stroke,
he lapses into a coma, his chief of staff and chief scriptwriter
however are intertwined in a corruption scandal and if the vice
president takes over they will be scuppered. So rather than do that
they decide to keep using the stand-in to maintain the illusion that
the president is just fine.
Not having suffered the rise to power that many politicians go through Dave isn't blinded by just running things the way they always have been and can see the many wrong decisions that politicians make simply to keep the status quo and, after tiring of simply following the orders of the chief of staff, decides to do what so few US presidents do, and make things better for the working man.
To this and the last decade Gary Ross is what Frank Capra was to the thirties and forties, with a variety of feel good films that challenge are ideas about what the world is and what it should be. The script for this film is dynamite with a ton of great touches, including Dave's changing from Presidential script reader to tourist as he spots a souvenir. The film manages to stride in between the dangerous path of a hard right "Eastwood-Esque" take on things and the ultra-liberal path that someone like Redford would focus on. Instead the film manages to put itself in the minds of the ordinary Joe, who watches in disbelief at the stupid things that the powers that be spend money on, when so many problems still go on without being addressed at all, with sound bites like "You can't solve problems by throwing money at them" (How come it's only the wealthy that say that?)
The performances are all first rate with Kevin Kline magnificent as the idealistic Dave Kovic thrown into the deep end after becoming the leader of the free world, Frank Langella and Alan Reed also excel as the Chief of staff and Chief scriptwriter, with Charles Grodin stealing the scene as the put upon Murray who takes on various people from Dave's temp agency when he is stuck finding work for people elsewhere. The direction is nothing special but succeeds in telling the story with humour and sadness that very often the people who get the top job have so little knowledge of the people at the bottom to make any significant change in society.
First rate, and far better than the IMDb rating suggests. Also watch out for a great end gag. Top drawer.
An escapist fantasy film, where a Walter Mitty style dream of suddenly
being given the chance and the means to heroically make the world a
better place for everyone is explored.
When an ordinary every-man look-alike to the president is asked to briefly pose as the chief executive, he reluctantly agrees to the put-on. Things get complicated because the real president suffers a debilitating stroke, and the poser is asked to maintain the deception for national security reasons by a corrupt power mongering chief-of-staff.
Kevin Kline does an excellent job as the innocent who finds he is a modern day Mr. Smith going to Washington, encountering scandals and corruption going on at these levels. The shadow-government conspiracy theory is nothing new, but this film utilizes the idea with an optimistic viewpoint, since the lead character chooses to effect positive changes, rather than exploit the situation. Corruption is seen as the exception rather than the rule, and that honest people can remove this blight from the landscape, if only they had the bravery to do so. Certainly this is a wildly idealistic premise, but it works.
Political insiders are the baddies, the rest of us are the good guys, represented by Dave (a great acting performance by Kevin Kline). Ben Kingsley is great as the sincere and benevolent vice president. Sigourney Weaver is wonderful as the ignored first lady who keys into the deception, and Frank Langella is well cast as the plotting diabolical foe of democracy, Bob Alexander. There are several standouts in the supporting cast, as well.
An entertaining "feel good" movie, certainly worth a watch.
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