A good friend of mine is a huge fan of Kevin Kline. If she wasn’t, I'm not sure I would have gone to see Dave in 1993. It was a clever comedy directed by Ivan Reitman, the director of Ghostbusters. The movie’s premise was very interesting. What would happen if the President of the United States was incapacitated and his chief of staff decided to seize power using a lookalike?
What happens next is truly inspiring. As “President Mitchell”, Dave brings enthusiasm to the office. He makes public appearances and connects with people in a way the real President never did. In fact, the press assumes he is a new man after his “minor stroke.” In addition, Dave winds up winning the friendship and admiration of the First Lady (Sigourney Weaver). Initially, Dave is not worried about pretending to be her husband. That’s because Ellen Mitchell hates her real husband. Their marriage is one of convenience. She has no use for the fact that he has the libido of Bill Clinton and the ethics of Richard Nixon. The couple does not even share a bedroom. However, Ellen realizes out this man is too decent to be her real husband. After Dave starts initiating some great policies and ignoring Bob Alexander, Ellen decides to play along with the charade.
Unfortunately, Bob Alexander is determined to take Dave down. He is angry that this ordinary man has won the respect and support of every one he meets. Dave even wins over the President’s bodyguard, Duane Stevenson (Ving Rhames), who resents being assigned to guard an impostor. Duane later tells Dave that he’d take a bullet for him. Even Alan Reed, Bob’s original co-conspirator, begins to stand up to Bob and side with Dave. This leads to Alexander playing the ultimate “dirty politics.”