Bill Mitchell is the philandering and distant President of the United States. Dave Kovic is a sweet-natured and caring Temp Agency operator, who by a staggering coincidence looks exactly like the President. As such, when Mitchell wants to escape an official luncheon, the Secret Service hires Dave to stand in for him. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffers a severe stroke whilst having sex with one of his aides, and Dave finds himself stuck in the role indefinitely. The corrupt and manipulative Chief of Staff, Bob Alexander, plans to use Dave to elevate himself to the White House - but unfortunately, he doesn't count on Dave enjoying himself in office, using his luck to make the country a better place, and falling in love with the beautiful First Lady...Written by
Scott Nisbet <email@example.com>
The President's full name in the movie is William Harrison Mitchell. William Henry Harrison was a real President elected in 1840, and the first President to die in office. The Vice President in the movie is named Nance. John Nance Garner was Franklin D. Roosevelt's Vice President for two terms, and once derided the job as not being "worth a pitcher of warm piss" (bowdlerized at the time, and often misquoted as "spit"). See more »
When Dave pretends to have the stroke as the President in the Joint Session of Congress and is wheeled to the ambulance, it is clearly daytime. Minutes later, as the ambulance arrives at the hospital it is dusk. Seconds later, as Dave leaves the ambulance and walks away, it is clearly evening and dark. This sequence of time and lighting is clearly impossible. See more »
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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