For President’s Day, the American Film Institute AFI Movie Club selected Dave, a political comedy/romance about a Presidential lookalike named Dave recruited by the Secret Service to become a stand-in for the President of the United States.
Dave stars Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley, Charles Grodin, and is directed by the recently departed, Ivan Reitman. Check out the video on the iconic director (Animal House, Ghostbusters, Stripes) and his commentary on tone in his films!
Interestingly, Dave features a number of cameos by real-life politicians who were given the green light to improvise and deliver monologues on their respective ideologies. The pols donated all their earned wages from the film to charities.
Notable, writer Gary Ross was working as a speechwriter for then-presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, as he was penning the screenplay for Dave. Ross received an Academy Award nomination for his efforts – for his Dave screenplay!
Dave is available to stream on Hoopla, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.
Phyllis Nagy’s Call Jane, set in the mid to late 1960’s follows the pursuit of women’s rights. Progressive suburbanite wife and homemaker, Joy, portrayed by Elizabeth Banks, discovers a more engaging life in helping women get safe medical procedures for their unwanted or life-endangering pregnancies when the procedure was illegal in most of the U.S. The 2022 Sundance Film Festival Sundance programmed several films about abortion, including the documentary The Janes and the international drama Happening.
With a talent-laden cast led by Banks and Sigourney Weaver, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nagy made her directorial debut with this film based on the real-life Jane Collective, an underground organization that helped women access abortions before Roe V. Wade. Written by Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi, Call Jane explores the gender and body politics of the time within a positive and non-judgemental lens. Nagy also wrote the 2015 Douglas Sirkian style melodrama, Carol, directed by Todd Haynes. Jane has a similar look with a forward-looking narrative.
Roadside Attractions announced it acquired U.S. rights to the film on February 4, with a planned theatrical release this fall. In addition, Call Jane is a nominee for the Golden Bear, the top prize at the upcoming 2022 Berlin Film Festival, set for February 10th – 20th, 2022. Four stars.