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Friday, October 24, 2008

Dave (1993)


Whimsy & Intrigue in the White House

A comedy-drama movie written by Gary Ross, directed by Ivan Reitman, and starring Kevin Kline (in a dual role), Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley, and Laura Linney. Ross was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay which is based on Anthony Hope's novel "The Prisoner of Zenda." Kline's performance was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

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. By "valleyranchdressing"

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