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798 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Just who runs this country anyway? For comedy fans, the answer is - Dave. Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda, In & Out) and Sigourney Weaver (Working Girl, Ghostbusters) star in this box-office winner about an uncanny Presidential lookalike named Dave, who's recruited by the Secret Service to become a momentary stand-in for the President of the United States. However, things don't turn out exactly as planned and Dave finds himself continuing his masquerade as Chief Executive indefinitely. Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters and 6 Days, 7 Nights) directs and supporting players Frank Langella, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley and Charles Grodin supply more reasons to stand up and cheer. Many real-life Washington politicos and pundits join the fun as Dave uses ordinary-guy savvy to deal with the extraordinary responsibilities of the Oval Office.

Special Features

  • Featurette "The Making of Dave"

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames
  • Directors: Ivan Reitman
  • Writers: Gary Ross
  • Producers: Ivan Reitman, Gordon A. Webb, Joe Medjuck, Lauren Shuler Donner, Michael C. Gross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 1998
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (798 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304907613
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,717 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dave" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Every time I watch this movie (more often now that it is an election year) I am amazed that the implausibility of it doesn't bother me. But it doesn't. Ivan Reitman manages to bring together an impressive group of actors and makes every character on the screen seem real. Kevin Kline is his usual remarkable self, a chameleon playing an idealistic Presidential look-alike swept into national politics. Sigourney Weaver is as warm and interesting as I have ever seen her in movies. Together they are like two children sharing a secret. Watch, for example, the pause at the top of the stairs when they return to the White House after their near-escape.
But my greatest admiration is for Reitman who gives every character in this movie a chance to shine. Charles Grodin being seduced by the promise of bratwurst. Ving Rhames discussing how he looks in a sweater. Ben Kingsley becoming nostalgic about how a shoe salesman became Vice President. Frank Langella humming Hail to the Chief while he forges the president's signature. The timing and subtlety of these touches makes me wonder if this is the same Ivan Reitman who did movies as unsubtle as Ghostbusters!
If national politics is getting you down, this is the perfect antidote. Lovely Washington photography, too. Kevin Kline can be my president any time!
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 4, 1999
Format: DVD
This movie is one of those gems that quietly grows on you -- each viewing creating anticipation and appreciation for its wit and style. The casting is superb. Kevin Kline doesn't know how to give a bad performance. Frank Langella's brilliant characterization of the ambitious, power-hungry 'man behind the throne' is perfect, and a wonderful contrast to his long-ago role as the cad/seducer in Diary of a Mad Housewife.
This is definitely a movie to buy because it needs to be seen many times. The innumerable funny pearls in this movie alone are worth the price of the DVD. For Minnesotans, one of the slyest gags was Dave's gig early in the moview, imitating the President at the grand opening of Durenberger Motors in his home town. The movie was released around the time that David Durenberger (Minnesota's senior senator) was embroiled in an ethics scandal. A personal favorite moment was the scene where Dave (with the help of his accountant buddy played by Charles Grodin) pares the federal budget to save a homeless shelter for children -- the cabinet members bemusedly participating just like a family sitting around the kitchen table wrestling with its own budget. Priceless.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By tritonofthesea on May 13, 2007
Format: DVD
"Dave" was a pleasant enough movie the first time I saw it, in 1993, with the good guys winning, and with superb acting performances by Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Ben Kingsley, and particularly Ving Rhames and Kevin Dunn in supporting roles. In a very small role, Charles Grodin does his best work that I've seen him do, and has one of the outstanding lines: "Who DOES these books?" Langella is quite believable as the astute, scheming politico who has never been bested; Dunn develops his character's moral conscience as we watch him on screen; and Rhames balances perfectly his character's initial distrust of the faux-president with his growing admiration of--and loyalty to--the kind of integrity so many of us wish we could find in "the leader of the free world."

When I decided to see it a second time, I viewed it as a movie or literary critic would, and found that it held together structurally, it developed organically, and it balanced some pretty heavy duty themes with good humor and almost-perfect timing. We have nearly worn out the original VHS tape that we bought, watching it whenever we want a "feel-good" movie, especially after seeing or reading about too much national and international news. Each time I watch it, I see more complexity to the character development and to the plot intricacies (which at first seem to be pretty straight-forward but, upon reflection, are not quite so simple).

"Dave" grows on its audience, appealing initially because it does represent what so many Americans would really like our government to be like; but it invites repeated viewing because of its texture, its acting, and so many of its memorable lines. How often, for example, can you imagine laughing at, "I once caught a fish THIIIIIISSSS big!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By LGwriter on January 25, 2002
Format: DVD
Though this film was directed by Ivan Reitman, it's the screenwriter's picture all the way. Gary Ross has made his reputation spinning stories of innocents caught up in the world of the not-so-innocent--or vice versa. With Big, starring Tom Hanks, it was a 12-year old magically transformed into a 30 year old man, contending with the world of grownups. In his latest film, Pleasantville, it's two hip, decidedly uninnocent teenagers zoomed into the innocent world of a typical 50s TV show.
In this, his middle film, it's the owner of a copy shop, Dave, called on to impersonate the president--a high strung cad who's just suffered a heart attack. Dave is a heck of a lot more innocent than most guys his age. Divorced, he busies himself with his work and sports, always hoping to meet the right woman.
What's groovy about this film is that it's a hip, comic American remake of the great Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha. In that film--a powerful drama with no comedy at all--a grievously ill warlord tells his vassals to find a man who resembles him as closely as possible so the warlord can instruct the other man in the ways of ruling a region; if his subjects see him alive and healthy, they'll be reassured and spies from enemy regions will know he's still a force to be reckoned with.
The vassals find a commoner whose resemblance to the warlord is so striking, there's no one else who could do the job. He's told exactly what to do, how to stand, sit, and do all the other stuff a warlord should. The same happens in Dave--he learns what to do from the evil Frank Langella, the White House press secretary. As Dave, Kevin Kline strikes the perfect balance of innocence and determination to right the wrongs so clearly in evidence.
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What is this DVD? Parley Baer?
Yes, I agree. It's very misleading. The 'good' Dave starred Kevin Kline, Frank Langella and Sigourney Weaver.
Oct 24, 2009 by K. Gustafson |  See all 3 posts
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