review for Dave on AllMovie

Dave (1993)
by Keith Phipps review

Say what you will about Bill Clinton, there's no denying that he's inspired filmmaking like few presidents before him. Love him or hate him, in the '90s there was a film to reflect your opinion, be it aligned with the Rush Limbaugh-inspired conspiracies of Murder At 1600 or the idealized fantasy Clintons like the character played by Michael Douglas in The American President, the kindhearted, strong-willed liberal many of Clinton's supporters always wanted him to be. (See also TV's The West Wing). The Ivan Reitman-directed Dave manages to combine a little of both types of films, offering a jaded, debauched, opportunistic liberal president replaced by a compassionate doppelganger. Dave gets a lot of mileage out of the notion that politics would be better if run with the common sense of an ordinary person. It's a willfully naive, but deeply appealing fantasy here made convincing by Kevin Kline's enjoyable performance and a smart, funny script from Gary Ross. All involved keep a light touch throughout, making this particular fantasy Clinton all the more seductive.