I know, for any faithful readers you are going to think, “Hasn’t she done this one before?” The answer is yes but I thought, what the hay, it’s Valentine’s Day, so we need a need romance. It’s crunch time with our government budget (again) so we need a little common sense and with this economy, we need a little humor. So, here it is, all three wrapped up in one movie—Dave.
Dave was released in 1993. I loved it then and I loved it even more the second time around. With all the “stuff” hitting the proverbial fan right now, Dave Kovic would be a refreshing change.
Bill Mitchell is the philandering and out of touch President of the United States. Dave Kovic is a sweet-natured and caring Temp Agency owner, 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 while having sex with a staffer and Dave finds himself stuck in the role indefinitely. Corrupt and manipulative Chief of Staff, Bob Alexander (Frank Langella) has Oval Office aspirations and conspires to sit in the big seat! He even creates lies about the Vice President (Ben Kingsley) to discredit him and leave the path clear. The First Lady (Sigourney Weaver) who had been barely tolerating her husband, the President, starts to see little differences in her husband. As Dave starts to get a feel for what being President should be, he starts having a few ideas of his own.
After Dave spends a day with the First Lady at a homeless shelter, Bob Alexander forges the President’s signature on a bill to cut the funding for the homeless shelter. The First Lady lashes out at Dave thinking that her husband had wielded the pen that slashed the much-needed program and Dave insists that the Chief of Staff makes it right. Alexander flippantly tells him that if he can figure out how to cut 650 million dollars out of the budget he can keep his “lousy shelter,” so Dave goes to work. He calls his accountant buddy, Murray Blum (Charles Grodin) to the White House to give him some advice. Murray says, “Who does these books? If I ran my business like this, I’d be out of business.” At the next Cabinet meeting, with some “simple changes in our cash management,” Dave gets it done and gets the shelters back.
If you haven’t figured out by now, Ellen Mitchell, the First Lady starts to see something in Dave that she hasn’t seen in her husband, the President, in a very long time and the relationship starts to build.
Dave is light and sweet and terribly thought provoking. In a speech of his own, he says, “This government’s responsibility is to find a job for every American who wants one. Getting a job when you so desperately need one makes you feel like you can fly!”
Is Dave Oscar material? No, but I’ve seen a lot worse take home the gold statue. Dave makes you think about what the government’s role is in our lives. Government is a tight rope — if it’s too big or too little, it fails. This little movie has a great cast and an incredible heart. I invite your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.