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    Viewing Dave, the Movie, with Kevin Kline

    Herman and I watched this movie this past year around Thanksgiving. The basic storyline is that Kevin Kline plays a character named Dave who is commissioned to impersonate the president of the Untied States. Obviously Kline plays both characters.

    The president is found in bed with his mistress where he suffers a massive stroke. The chief of staff finds Dave and makes his already similar appearance identical to that of the president so he can retain power. Basically all the chief of staff wants is to have Dave wave and do as he’s told while they run the country.

    Sigourney Weaver plays the first lady and it is clear she and the president hate each other. In fact, the way they first test Kline’s ability to impersonate the president is to see if the first lady notices the difference and she doesn’t, looking at him with as much disdain as she would usually for the president.

    I suppose the plot from there is somewhat predictable, however it was certainly enjoyable watching. Dave begins to care about the social issues the real president could have cared less about. This both surprises his staff and angers them. The old guard that was running the country with the original president were calloused and hardened.  

    At about this time in the picture that I announced to Herman that Dave and the first lady would doubtless become love interests and pretty much that is what happens.

    Frank Langella plays a perfectly despicable villain and Allan Reed plays his cohort on staff who eventually stands up to Langella and  sides with Dave in trying to do the right thing. Ving Rhames plays a secret service man who also is won over by Dave’s obvious charm and good intentions. Together they basically stage a coup to install the vice president played by Ben Kingsley in his lawful succession to the presidency.

    The whole situation is set up by Langella’s character and it backfires when Dave is given evidence of Langella’s felonies to put before congress and then stages his own stroke and switches places with the real president who is on life support so Dave can return to regular life as the manager of a temp agency.

    Ultimately we find Kline about to run for city council which is the way Kingsley’s character started out. There Weaver joins him in the long anticipated kiss.

    What I especially liked about this picture is the fact that I find myself being surprised a lot and laughing out loud a lot, which isn’t always true in some of today’s supposed comedies. This film was made in 1993 and if you haven’t seen it I suggest you rent it. 

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com