It's easy to forget these days that Ivan Reitman was, at one time, a pretty great director. “Meatballs,” “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters” are three of the best comedies of their era (with “Ghostbusters,” of course, being of the undisputed classics of modern cinema). Heck, I'll even throw “Legal Eagles” some love.
“Dave” isn't in the same leagues as those (except for “Legal Eagles,” probably), but it is a funny and sincere film in its own right.
The story follows Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline), a temp agency manager who bears an uncanny resemblance to the sitting American president, Bill Mitchell. And when a scandal threatens to take down his presidency, President Mitchell's cabinet members hatch a plan to have Dave stand in until normality can be returned. There's more going on behind the scenes, of course, but for much of the movie we watch as Dave almost effortlessly slips into the role of POTUS and actually tries to do some good instead of just simply being a puppet.
Kline is great here and really provides the film its heart even when the script can feel a little thin. The plot could have made things come across as fairly cynical at times, but Reitman keeps it fairly light overall.
“Dave” might not be a true-blue classic, but it's a fun and funny film that has just the right amount of heart in it.
-- Stewart Smith
The election is over and it's time for some patriotic comic relief. Presidential food and the movie “Dave” are the perfect combination with this recipe from our third president, Thomas Jefferson.
In modern culinary circles Jefferson is sometimes referred to as the 'founding foodie' and was a visionary when it came to cooking and food. He admired French cooking along with their techniques and ingredients.
In his gardens Jefferson planted seeds from around the world and grew fruits and vegetables that were foreign to American soil. His recipes, along with vegetables from the garden are still served at special events held at Jefferson's Monticello estate in Virginia.
Thomas Jefferson's Chicken Fricassee
3 pounds chicken pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1 cup dry wine
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh small mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cup half and half cream
hot cooked rice
Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika. Brown the chicken in hot oil over high heat in a Dutch oven; remove the chicken when well browned. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and cook the flour until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Whisk in water and wine until smooth. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 50 minutes. Remove chicken, keeping warm, and reserve broth in large container. Broth may be strained to remove particles. Melt butter in Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add onion, cook until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, sage and parsley. Add broth, and chicken. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thoroughly heated. Served over rice.