A recent survey showed that if Martin Sheen were running for President, 58 percent of Americans would seriously consider voting for him. Isn't fiction so much more appealing than real life? Now that all the good Democratic presidential candidates have fallen by the wayside, why not turn to the silver screen for a few good imaginary candidates? The Republicans did it with ReaganÉ why can't the Democrats?
¥ Being There (1979)--From his dark war-mongering in Dr. Strangelove to this great film, Peter Sellers has probably spent as much time playing the role of president as George W. Bush. Chauncey Gardner (Sellers) is a feeble-minded gardener. After his wealthy and reclusive employer dies, Chauncey wanders into the world, a babe in the woods. But his simpleminded words, mostly derived from his favorite TV shows, are taken as sage wisdom (Ross Perot, anyone?) and he is promoted as the next president of the United States.
¥ Mars Attacks! (1996)--A Tim Burton spoof on sci-fi flicks puts Jack Nicholson in the unenviable role of defending the US of A against an army of mean-spirited and extremely sardonic aliens. Unfortunately for the sake of humankind, President James Dale (Nicholson) is a yellow-bellied moron! Nicholson also reappears later in the wacked-out movie as Art Land, a Vegas developer hellbent on capitalizing on the Martians' genocide.
¥ Dave (1993)--Regular guy Dave Kovic's (Kevin Kline) biggest professional attribute is that he's a dead ringer for the President. Every now and again, when the Commander in Chief needs a little alone time (or time with his mistress), he calls Dave to stand in for him. But when the President steps out of a luncheon for some hanky-panky and suffers a stroke, Dave is forced to step up and fill in permanently! With his humble charm, Dave wins over the country, his jaded advisors and, oh yeahhhÉ the president's wife. PHIL BUSSE