Dave Ming Chang (Eddie Murphy), newly arrived in New York City, is actually a spaceship, containing a crew of well-trained miniature people that feverishly attempt to direct Dave's every action and conversation. When she accidentally hits Dave in her car, Gina (Elizabeth Banks) and her 11 year old son Josh (Austyn Lind Myers) befriend him, as he struggles to fit in as he looks for a meteorite orb. But Dave's crew, under the direction of the Captain (Eddie Murphy) from whom Dave takes his appearance, is also experiencing a steep learning curve, as they learns about the strange habits and emotions of humans.
Review by Louise Keller:
Heralding a return to form for Eddie Murphy, this cleverly conceived and executed sci-fi comedy offers plenty of laughs for all ages. The considerable challenge for the filmmakers was to streamline three realities and make each one credible. Murphy excels in his dual roles and there is much hilarity as his alien spaceship Dave (built in the image of its captain, also played by Murphy) struggles to blend in with the humans he meets. It's a double-dose fish out of water story with a twist and the script smartly looks at life from three perspectives - the real world, the spaceship's world and the world within the world, where miniature aliens are struggling to cope with gushing torrents, when in fact Dave has simply drunk a glass of water.
'The most powerful force in the universe comes from the smallest star,' Murphy's Dave tells 11 year old Josh (Austyn Lind Myers) who is sick of being the smallest fifth grader in New York City. Josh becomes Dave's instant ally; he too feels different. At every turn, when Dave is confronted with something unfamiliar, the Captain and his officers search through Google and Yahoo to work out a relevant definition. Dave's white suit, for example was selected from images of Fantasy Island, and when Elizabeth Banks' Gina offers to cook meatloaf, images of a portly singer flash across the scene. Things become even more interesting as the Captain and other crewmembers are influenced by the emotions and actions they observe. There's the homeless beggar who shares his blanket with Dave, the couple kissing in Central Park, and that movie everyone watches once a year (A Wonderful Life) in which James Stewart lassos the moon for love.
Elizabeth Banks has a nice comedic sense, Myers is excellent as her son and Gabrielle Union is appealing as the Captain's love interest. Pat Kilbane is a riot as the ship's security officer as he becomes influenced by the musicals on Broadway. All the while, as humans and aliens learn from each other, we are entertained by Murphy with his glares, stares, funny expressions and mannerisms that make meeting Dave an encounter worth seeking.
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MEET DAVE (PG)
CAST: Eddie Murphy, Elizabeth Banks, Gabrielle Union, Scott Caan, Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Mike O'Malley, Pat Kilbane, Judah Friedlander, Marc Blucas
PRODUCER: Jon Berg, David T. Friendly, Todd Komarnicki
DIRECTOR: Brian Robbins
SCRIPT: Rob Greenberg, Bill Corbett
CINEMATOGRAPHER: J. Clark Mathis
EDITOR: Ned Bastille
MUSIC: John Debney
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Clay A. Griffith
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 10, 2008