Today is President's Day. There are many good films to watch that feature presidential characters as heroes or villains in a variety of plots. If you are in the mood for some good laughs, take a look at "Dave," a romantic comedy from 1993.
In "Dave," Kevin Kline plays Dave Kovic, as well as the sitting president of the United States, Bill Mitchell. Dave is a good-hearted guy who runs a temporary employment agency. President Mitchell, however, is an opportunistic womanizer. Because Dave so closely resembles him, he does some side-work as a look-alike. When President Mitchell's extramarital sex antics result in a stroke, his handlers seek the least disruptive solution. They convince Dave that the country needs the stability of a sitting president and cajole him into moving into the White House and assuming all of the public appearances required of the president. Dave soon learns that one of the people who hired him, Bob Alexander (played by Frank Langella), is scheming to become president himself.
"Dave" works because Kevin Kline is very effective in the lead role. He gives both his characters two completely different personalities, in spite of the fact that they are virtual twins. Another great performance is by Sigourney Weaver, who plays the conflicted first lady. She is also a better person than her husband. Although she is initially hostile to the arrangement, she finds herself wanting to spend more and more time with Dave and to have his values at play in the oval office. Frank Langella also gives a strong performance as the smarmy villain.
The persistent humor in the film stems from the fish-out-of-water situations in which the affable temp agency owner has to adapt himself to the pomp and circumstance of the presidency. When he and the first lady turn the tables on all the president's men, the underdog comes into his own.
"Dave" is a very enjoyable comedy and fun to watch on President's Day.