Dave (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dave (1993)



Critic Consensus: Ivan Reitman's refreshingly earnest political comedy benefits from an understated, charming script and a breezy performance by Kevin Kline.

Movie Info

The ghost of Frank Capra must have smiled when he saw Dave, an amusing and effective update of one of Capra's favorite themes -- the scrupulously honest little guy who becomes a force for good against a corrupt system. Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) runs an employment agency and seems to genuinely enjoy finding work for people who need it. He also bears a striking resemblance to the president of the United States, Bill Mitchell (also played by Kline) and occasionally gets work as a Bill Mitchell impersonator. One day, Dave gets a call from the Secret Service -- for security purposes, they want to hire him to act as a decoy for an upcoming appearance by the president. All goes well, but later that evening President Mitchell suffers a massive stroke while in bed with his mistress. Wanting to keep the matter a secret, two of the president's top advisors appeal to Dave to stand in as Bill Mitchell until he regains his health. One of the men behind this scheme, Bob Alexander (Frank Langella), hopes to use Mitchell's absence to promote his own right-wing political agenda, but after a few weeks "in office," Dave decides it's time to promote some changes of his own that will help increase employment and keep homeless shelters open. Dave also finds himself growing fond of Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver), the President's wife, while Ellen sees in Dave the idealism her husband left behind years ago. Dave features numerous cameo appearances by politicians, Washington insiders, and journalists; Oliver Stone also appears to explain a conspiracy theory regarding sudden changes in Bill Mitchell's behavior.more
Rating: PG-13 (for momentary language and a situation)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Gary Ross
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 28, 1998
Warner Bros.


Kevin Kline
as Dave Kovic/Bill Mitc...
Sigourney Weaver
as Ellen Mitchell
Frank Langella
as Bob Alexander
Kevin Dunn
as Alan Reed
Ving Rhames
as Duane Stevensen
Ben Kingsley
as Vice President Nance
Charles Grodin
as Murray Blum
Bonnie Hunt
as White House Tour Gui...
Parley Baer
as Senate Majority Lead...
Stefan Gierasch
as House Majority Leade...
Anna Deavere Smith
as Mrs. Travis
Tom Dugan
as Jerry
Bonnie Bartlett
as Female Senator
Steve Witting
as 1st Secret Service
Lexie D. Bigham
as White House Guard
George Martin
as President's Physicia...
Jason Reitman
as Vice President's Son
Gary Ross
as 2nd Policeman
Bernard Kalb
as Himself
Larry King
as Himself
Jay Leno
as Himself
Dawn Arnemann
as Mom at Durenberger's
Ralph Manza
as White House Barber
Tom Kurlander
as Trauma Doctor
Geneviève Robert
as Vice-President's Wif...
Paul Simon
as Himself
Frank Birney
as Director of OMB
Alan Simpson
as Himself
Paul Collins
as Secretary of Treasur...
Ben Stein
as Himself
Oliver Stone
as Himself
Robin Gammell
as Postmaster General
Jeff Tackett
as Himself
Helen Thomas
as Herself
Robert Walsh
as Speaker of the House
Wendy Gordon
as Announcer
John Yang
as Himself
Dan Butler
as Reporter
Tom Harkin
as Himself
Peter White
as Secretary of Commerc...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dave

Critic Reviews for Dave

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (18)

A genial, expertly played political comedy proves that the spirit of Mr. Smith still lives.

Full Review… | August 2, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

It's impossible to say whether Dave will play as wonderfully over the decades as it does right now, but this smooth-as-silk comedy could not be more timely, or connect more hopefully with our current national consciousness.

Full Review… | August 2, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While it's sloppy and draggy in parts, Kevin Kline, in the title role, delivers an ingratiating comedic performance.

Full Review… | August 2, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Kline is so polished and resourceful that he can glide his way through even the creakiest bits and make them seem fresh.

Full Review… | August 2, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Though replete with amusing situations and clever lines, its strongest suit is the delicately pitched comic performances of its actors, most especially star Kevin Kline.

Full Review… | August 2, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

After the promisingly nasty beginning, the filmmakers settle into a sort of campaign mode, lulling and flattering the audience with a fairy-tale vision of the common man's victory over the Washington establishment.

Full Review… | August 2, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Dave

Frank Capra would be proud. Ivan Reitman's second best film.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

There's something quite magical about 1993. Not only do I count it as one of the best years of my life, but it's one that also brought us some of the greatest movies I've ever seen. Personal favourites of mine like Jurassic Park and Groundhog Day. Among all those cinematic triumphs, there was also another, more anonymous story. One that sort of fell in the shadow of previously mentioned titans (and that I hadn't really heard of until recently). I'm referring, of course, to Dave. Now, I could speak volumes of what makes this into such a wonderful viewing experience. But as I'm trying to keep my reviews in digestable portions, let me just say the following: Kevin Kline at his career-best, Sigourney Weaver as a lovely first lady. Funny, romantic, touching and inspiring. And these are just a few of the things that I loved about it. An underrated, heartwarming and flawlessly directed comedy, that starts off great and then gets better for every minute thereafter.

Mike S

Super Reviewer


Nothing bad.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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