It’s this week’s Movies You Have Not Seen But Should, or is it? It’s Dave, starring Kevin Kline. And Kevin Cline.
Welcome back to Movies You Have Not Seen But Should. This week we will look at the 1993 dramedy Dave. The film’s stars include Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Ben Kingsley, Ving Rhames and Kevin Dunn.
The film centers around Dave Kovic (played by Kline). Dave helps run a temporary employment agency in Washington D.C. He also bears an uncanny resemblance to President of the United States Bill Mitchell (also played by Kline). So on occasion, Dave will impersonate the President at various functions. At one of these functions, Secret Service agent Duane Stevensen (played by Rhames) sees Dave and wants him to make an appearance at a hotel impersonating the President. While Dave thinks he’s doing it for noble reasons, it’s really to hide President Mitchell’s extramarital affair: President Mitchell has had a stroke during a meetup with his mistress and has fallen into a coma.
The White House Chief of Staff Bob Alexander (played by Langella) and Communications Director Alan Reed (played by Dunn) convince Dave to keep impersonating the President. They have ulterior motives in this, especially Bob. There is a savings and loan fraud that they want to pin on Vice President Gary Nance (played by Kingsley). So by sending Vice President Nance on a goodwill tour to Africa and having Dave in office, the pieces can be put in place to have the Vice President take the fall and for Dave as President Mitchell to name Bob as the new Vice President.
The only ones who know Dave is President Mitchell are Bob, Alan, Duane, and the doctors and nurses treating the President. Even First Lady Ellen Mitchell (played by Weaver) doesn’t know about the deception. However, that begins to change. Dave makes the President more popular and dramatically improves his approval rating. He takes interest in helping a homeless shelter that he visits with Ellen, to the point of saving funding for the shelter when Bob tries to cut it.
Ellen eventually finds out the truth and goes along with the secret because of the good that Dave is doing. Inevitably, he and Bob come at odds because of their goals in life. Bob then tries to ruin President Mitchell’s name and still be in place to take power. What happens with Dave? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.
Also starring in this film are Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Laura Linney, and Stephen Root. There are a number of cameos, which include several Congress members and such media people as Larry King, Jay Leno, Chris Matthews, Ben Stein, director Oliver Stone and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film debuted in theaters on May 7th, 1993. It received great reviews from critics and has a 94% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Kevin Kline received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance and the film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
Dave is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Amazon Instant Streaming. It is a fun dramedy that will have you laughing but will also tug at your heart. It’s a great film that you may not have seen, but you should.