Meet Dave (PG)

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The Independent Culture

A film that could definitely only have been made in Hollywood. Meet Dave is a family comedy in the high-concept vein of Splash, All Of Me and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Eddie Murphy plays two roles, which is quite moderate and self-effacing by his standards. In one role, he's an alien spaceship disguised as a human that crash-lands in New York and befriends a single mum, Elizabeth Banks. And in the other role, he's the captain of the miniature beings who operate the spaceship from inside its robotic head, much as the homunculi did in the British comic strip The Numbskulls. Cue lots of fish-out-of-water misunderstandings, and scenes of Murphy using his nose as a pencil sharpener. The rudimentary script ladles on the sentimental "It's OK to be different" messages, and there's not much to recommend it to anyone over primary school age. But Meet Dave is perfectly acceptable, efficient fare for young children. It's disappointing from 1980s Eddie, but from the numbskulled 21st-century Eddie of The Haunted Mansion and Norbit, it's a step up.

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