Given its reviews (17 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes) and the dismal box-office, MEET DAVE may have already primed you for an it-can't-be-that-bad viewing experience. You'd be right, too. No classic, the movie is still surprisingly entertaining and also quite sweet in a genuine, uncloying way. The marketing of the film was very poorly done. Granted, the concept did not lend itself to the kind of overlong, we're-showing-you-all-the-good-parts trailer they turn out today. But Eddie Murphy, an actor seldom known for subtlety, has a great role here: an alien trying hard to mimic earthlings. He gives it his best shot and gets considerable support from Gabrielle Union, Elizabeth Banks, Scott Caan, Marc Blucas, Pat Kilbane and others.
The movie, by the by, is also among the most stupid of this past summer. I will give one example only, and there may be a spoiler ahead for those who have not endured this "treasure": If Wesley's father had wanted to warn his kid about anything, the guy had only to send an email, snail mail or maybe make a quick phone call. Or, since their paths actually cross a number of times during the film, maybe he could just -- as adults have been known to tell very young children -- use words. But no, that might make some sense and would of course prevent the entire plot from taking place. Please: will someone take the schlockmeisters who write this "blockbuster" drivel (three of them were involved here, with their story/screenplay based on a -- surprise! -- comic book series) out to a deep lake and pull a Monty Clift/Shelley Winters number. That said, I admit to finding the first couple of action sequences so riveting that I could not tear my eyes off the screen. Now, if only movie-makers offered something for the mind, as well. And no -- don't pretend that The Dark Knight managed much brain-food, either.