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'''''Dave''''' is a 1993 film directed by Ivan Reitman. More or less, it's ''Literature/ThePrisonerOfZenda'' [[SettingUpdate updated]] to the modern-day United States.

The President of the United States is Bill Mitchell (Creator/KevinKline), a corrupt career politician who works closely with his equally corrupt advisors, especially Chief of Staff Bob Alexander (Frank Langella). Meanwhile, Dave Kovic (also Kline) is a NiceGuy [[TheEveryman Everyman]] who happens to [[IdenticalStranger look exactly like the President]], and has a side job impersonating him at parties. One day, Dave is hired as a BodyDouble in an effort to cover up one of Mitchell's extramarital affairs. After the President unexpectedly falls into a coma while having sex with his mistress, Alexander refuses to give up his power and invents an outrageous conspiracy: place Dave in the Oval Office and pretend the coma never happened! Alexander assumes that Dave will be an easily manipulated puppet, but what happens when Dave starts BecomingTheMask?

The rest of the main cast includes Creator/SigourneyWeaver as the socially conscious First Lady, Kevin Dunn as another advisor in on the conspiracy, and VingRhames as a Secret Service agent.
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!!This movie provides examples of:

* AdamWesting: Oliver Stone and Jay Leno are happy to have a laugh at their own expense.
* BecomingTheMask: In terms of assuming his position as President. Fortunately, he doesn't become the {{Jerkass}} the real President Mitchell was, though his performance ''does'' redeem his character.
* BigYes: The Chief of Staff Bob Alexander, when [[spoiler:Dave admits in front of Congress that President Mitchell had been involved in a savings and loan scandal. He changes his tune moments later when Dave produces evidence that ''he'' was involved as well]].
** Also, earlier, after Dave meets the first lady for the first time and says, "She hates me..." Bob Alexander and Alan Reed simultaneously respond with a Big Yes.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Political morality is pretty straightforward in this film. Dave, Ellen, and Nance are Good. Mitchell and Alexander are Evil. Alan Reed starts off Evil and turns Good. It's not any more complicated than that. Perhaps it doesn't need to be in a feel-good movie like this.
* BluffTheImpostor: How [[spoiler: the President's wife]] confirms Dave isn't who he says he is.
* BodyDouble: Dave for President Mitchell.
* TheCameo: A number of {{politician|GuestStar}}s and [[NewscasterCameo news pundits]] appear in the film as themselves.
* CassandraTruth: Oliver Stone gets wise to the ruse by comparing minute differences in the two men's facial features. Of course, being such a notorious ConspiracyTheorist, no one believes him.
* CelebrityImpersonator: Dave was making a living impersonating the President even before he was picked up to do this "gig".
* CharacterTitle
* ChewingTheScenery: "'''YES!''' Die, you '''SCUM'''!!!"
* CollapsedMidSpeech: [[spoiler:Dave {{invoke|dTrope}}s this. He gives a big speech to Congress, then stutters, stumbles and collapses just after the important confession part, supposedly with a stroke so they can switch the real president back in.]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: At first Dave is very silly and doesn't appear to be very serious about being the fake president, just like [[TheChessmaster his puppeteers]] want him to be. Then he starts actually working to help the nation, and becomes the better president.
* DecoyLeader
* [[DysfunctionalFamily Dysfunctional Marriage]]: This is the reason why the ManipulativeBastard dares to pull this off - the real president and his wife are so estranged that they barely talk anymore to each other. Unfortunately, no one counted on Dave being a much better match for Mrs. Mitchell than her husband...
* EarpieceConversation: Dave is coached through two conversations by his handlers and mistakes their stage instructions for his next line both times.
* EmergencyImpersonation: Pretty much the whole point of the film.
* GilliganCut: At Alexander's house, where he watches "President Mitchell's" speech with supporters all ready to start gearing up for Alexander's own presidential run. He gets really cocky when Dave admits to Mitchell's involvement, celebrating the set-up to his own run. Dave then reveals that Alexander was also involved and just as guilty. When they cut again to Alexander, mere seconds later, he's been completely abandoned.
* HappyMarriageCharade: The real President Mitchell and Ellen pretended to be loving couple for the cameras, while hating each other in private.
* HeelFaceTurn: Alan Reed.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The Chief of Staff aims to manipulate Dave into following his own agenda, which will end with him being President. Unfortunately, he doesn't count on Dave both rebelling against his agenda ''and'' realizing that so far as everyone is concerned, Dave ''is'' the President.
** Later, [[spoiler:after being fired, he tries to impeach the President by revealing his role in a savings and loan fraud. Dave admits "his" involvement, but manages to procure evidence that Alexander was also involved. Everyone deserts Alexander.]]
* HollywoodToneDeaf: The First Lady, when pretending to be an impersonator.
* IAmTheNoun:
-->'''Murray''': You could get in so much trouble if they find out.\\
'''Dave''': With who?\\
'''Murray''': The government.\\
'''Dave''': I'm the government.
* IdenticalStranger: The whole plot is this. Justified, since Dave imitated the president a bunch, and that's how the government found him.
* {{Jerkass}}: President Mitchell, the ''real'' one.
* LargeHam: Frank Langella as the scheming Chief of Staff, but being a Capra-esque film, it comes with the territory, and Langella gleefully chews the scenery.
* LenoDevice: Leno appears to talk about the President's new attitude change, asking out loud if he's been overdosing on Happy Meals.
* MeaningfulName: Mitchell's full name is William Harrison Mitchell, and the screenwriters have confirmed that he was named after UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison. Who, by the way, was the first American President to die in office.
* NextSundayAD: [[spoiler:When Nance is sworn in at the end of the film, he's referred to as the forty-fifth president]], making Mitchell the forty-fourth president. Thus, extrapolating fictional presidencies from the time when the film was made, the story takes place in the year 2000 at the earliest and 2016 at the latest. Nevertheless, the political cameos firmly place it in TheNineties. Incidentally, BarackObama is the real forty-fourth president.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Bob Alexander, when Dave confronts him about the closing of a homeless shelter, tells Dave that the latter can save the shelter if he can find the money in the federal budget to do so. Dave then proceeds to start taking action and [[BecomingTheMask truly act like he's the President of the United States]] (starting by saving said shelter), culminating in firing Alexander.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Bill Mitchell is generally believed to be a negative satire of UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush, with shades of UsefulNotes/BillClinton.
* OhCrap: Bob Alexander [[spoiler:when Dave produces evidence at the end that ''he'' was involved in the savings and loan scandal as well.]] He's basically reduced to staring at his television in horrified slack-jawed catatonia.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted when Dave meets the little boy David at the homeless shelter.
* OutOfCharacterAlert: The First Lady first gets suspicious of Dave [[spoiler:when she catches him checking her legs out, since the real President stopped years ago]].
* OutWithABang: Kind of. President Mitchell has a stroke and falls into a coma while having sex. He doesn't actually die until later.
* {{Portmanteau}}
* PowerFist: Arguably the telepresence robot arms with a [[HumongousMecha 40 foot]] reach.
-->'''Dave''': [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments I once caught a fish]] ''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments this]]'' [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments big!]]
* PuppetKing: Dave was chosen as a placeholder until the conspirators could get the Vice-President out of the way. Despite effectively having the office of President, he was expected to do nothing more than keep up the appearance that Mitchell was active.
** ThePuppetCutsHisStrings: Dave realizes that he can use Mitchell's office to push his own agenda of helping the disenfranchised. The moment he cuts his strings is very clear, as he faces down Alexander in front of a budget committee he should never have convened.
* ScaryBlackMan / TheStoic: Dave's Secret Service bodyguard, Duane Stevensen.
* SexySecretary: Laura Linney!
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: The movie is firmly idealistic.
* TheStarscream: Bob Alexander, the Chief of Staff.
* TwentyFifthAmendment: The villains' whole plot is a ZanyScheme to illegally sidestep the twenty-fifth amendment, and prevent the ascension of the Vice-President. Their plan would have culminated with Dave being bumped off and Alexander becoming president, but they don't get that far.
* UndyingLoyalty: Stevensen pledges this to Dave, confessing "I'd have taken a bullet for you," just before Dave makes his exit. At the end of the film he's working for Dave's city council campaign.
* VicePresidentWho: Played with. Vice President Nance is introduced somewhat ridiculously, holding a spear and carrying a ceremonial headdress and beads that he received on his African goodwill tour. He is also being set up as the fall guy for a scandal that threatens the Mitchell White House. However it quickly becomes apparent that Nance is easily the most decent and honorable member of the Mitchell administration.
* WhatTheHellHero: Several are directed at Dave, not realizing that the actions in question are the doings of Bob Alexander and that Dave's really innocent.
* WholePlotReference: The plot is essentially an adaptation of ''Literature/ThePrisonerOfZenda'' (a close physical double of a national leader stands in when the real leader is incapacitated, and ends up being both a better leader and a better person all round, falling for the leader's wife in the process), only modernized and stripped of most of the "swashbuckling adventure story" aspects. It also qualifies for a PrinceAndPauper plot. An earlier Richard Dreyfuss movie, ''Moon over Parador'', follows the same plot.
* YourCostumeNeedsWork: Towards the First Lady, when she masquerades as a celebrity impersonator of herself.
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