Dave (1993)
June 27, 2020 2:48 PM - Subscribe

1993 American political film directed by Ivan Reitman, and starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. A scrupulously honest little guy who becomes a force for good against a corrupt system. One of my favorite comedies about presidents.
posted by growabrain (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I liked this film quite a lot as well, although I find its premise--that, not only could a deception like this be pulled off, but that one decent average guy could singlehandedly change and fix the system--to be increasingly implausible in The Current Situation. Nevertheless, it's still a good flick. This may also be the only thing that I've ever seen Charles Grodin in; by the time I became a regular moviegoer, he was known mostly for his mock-dyspeptic appearances on talk shows. (He's got the best line in this film; you'll know it when you hear it.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:40 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]

Hail to the chief he’s the one we all say hail to
We all say hail because he keeps himself so clean!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:02 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]

ActingTheGoat, I have also spent the last quarter century unable to forget that song. My sincerest sympathies.
posted by asperity at 8:16 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]

Dave is streaming in the US via Hulu.
posted by Etrigan at 9:00 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]

I have not seen it since 1993, but I recall being made a little uneasy: if Kevin Kline is clean-shaven, it is supposed to be a drama, dammit. He wears a moustache in comedies.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:30 AM on June 28

I have a soft spot for both Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline so this would be among my favourite films for that reason alone.

Absolute favourite moment in the film is Kevin Dunn's line when Kline tells him something they've done is wrong. His moral compass is so far gone, it takes him a second to even understand the sentence.
posted by ODiV at 3:13 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]

I love the movie Dave. It's one of those feel-good movies that I return to from time to time. A quick watch, and it always leaves me feeling better than before I started it and a little more hopeful.

> This may also be the only thing that I've ever seen Charles Grodin in; by the time I became a regular moviegoer, he was known mostly for his mock-dyspeptic appearances on talk shows. (He's got the best line in this film; you'll know it when you hear it.)

Halloween Jack, have you never seen Beethoven, about the big slobbering St. Bernard? Grodin is the dad in that, and I think possibly the first sequel, but not the other six (!) sequels. That's the first Charles Grodin movie I can remember seeing. Obviously he's been in other movies, too, many of which should be avoided, like Clifford. One of his earliest roles was in Rosemary's Baby, as the young non-evil doctor who Rosemary goes to for help, but he thinks she's having a hysterical pregnancy and calls her husband. Heartbreaking.
posted by guiseroom at 10:08 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]

It's been quite a while, but what sticks in my memory about _Dave_is the screenwriters' naive belief that the President has the power to perform line-item vetoes. He really, really does not, a fact, given our current circumstance, we should be ungodly grateful for.
posted by mojohand at 10:47 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]

They weren't line-item vetoes. He was going through the budget proposal that the chief of staff wanted to present to Congress.
posted by Etrigan at 10:56 AM on June 29 [2 favorites]

Charles Grodin's best work IMO is with Robert De Niro in Midnight Run, which everyone should see.

IIRC this is where I became aware of Ving Rhames. This is definitely pre-M:I 1 and pre-Pulp Fiction.

I was always fond of this movie but I haven't seen it since…well, pre-9/11 for sure, and I always worry with movies like this that I won't be able to enjoy anything about them anymore given the subsequent annals of the presidency. This thread may inspire me to put that to the test.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:29 AM on June 29 [2 favorites]

Not to worry,@cheesesofbrazil, it’s still 100% enjoyable.
posted by growabrain at 11:34 AM on June 29

I watched Dave last night after reading this thread. I think it holds up. The score is tremendous, so memorable that it was used in other trailers, like the dreadful North, which came out the following year.

When I was younger I never really got a lot of the political implications of the film but it's essentially Republican Administration that is usurped by a bleeding heart liberal with FDR-like aspirations who they anointed out of their greed and desperation to keep power. That's really clever. I do think the film could be a little longer to flesh it out more and give it more depth but I love it anyway.

Dave was written by Gary Ross, who wrote Big, Mr. Baseball, and one of my favorite films, Pleasantville, which he also directed. Ross was one of those screenwriters I aspired to write like back when I still had aspirations.
posted by guiseroom at 5:14 PM on June 29 [5 favorites]

I love this movie. It's just so... charming. The performances are charming, and it has a warmth that.. yeah. Love it.

I believe this movie was the origin of the Warner Brothers White House sets that would be used in The American President, the West Wing, and just about every Oval Office fiction on film since.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:45 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]

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