USA, 1993. Director: Ivan Reitman. Stars: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Charles Grodin.

Don't tell me you haven't heard of Dave, the latest comedy sensation from Ivan Reitman, who iss a chenius? (Sorry, I can't take him seriously since that sketch on The Late Show.) Okay, so maybe your memories of Reitman's Kindergarten Cop have kept you away from Dave so far. Put them aside. Dave is actually good fun, and at this price you can't go wrong.

For those who have been living in a cave (and hence remember only Reitman's early work, like Ghostbusters), Dave concerns an everyday guy who happens to look like the President, gets hired as a double, and after a little accident ends up filling in for longer than planned. It's the expected mix of fish-out-of-water comedy with "if I could be king for a day" fantasy, but it's all done better than one might fear, thanks largely to the genuine comic talent of Kevin Kline: not since A Fish Called Wanda has he been so disarmingly funny. He's ably supported by the rest of the cast and a strong script which refreshingly avoids "I Lerv America" patriotism and replaces it with a plug for civic responsibility and the message that one person can make a difference (ahh, it warms the cockles of a Pol Sci graduate's heart). All in all, Dave is one of those entertaining and inoffensive films that has "hit" written all over it, and for a change it's one that's actually worth watching.


First published in a reviews booklet of the ANU Film Group.
This page: 31 January 2000; last modified 16 February 2001.

©1994, 2000 Rory Ewins