Friday, June 24, 2016

Daddy Dearest

My Father the Hero
Director: Steve Miner
Cast: Gerald Depardieu, Katherine Heigl, Dalton James, Faith Prince, Lauren Hutton, Steven Tobolowsky
Released: February 3, 1994



If you have any recollection of this movie, you're probably either thinking, "Oh, it's that movie Katherine Heigl was in when she was 14" or, "Oh, that's the movie with the really creepy premise", or, perhaps both thoughts crossed your mind. This movie is actually a remake of a French film called Mon Pere Ce Heros (take a wild guess what that translates to in English) which Gerald Depardieu also starred in as the dad. I've never seen the French version so I have no idea if they executed it better or not.

Andre (Depardieu), who lives in Paris, is taking his fourteen (almost fifteen!) year-old daughter, Nicole (Heigl) on a trip to the Bahamas. Nicole lives in New York with her mom (Lauren Hutton) so Andre hardly sees her. Nicole is  your typical bratty teenage girl and is not impressed or happy that her father is taking her on an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas. This movie came out about a decade before Grey's Anatomy aired on TV and Katherine Heigl was fourteen when she filmed it. Obviously, this was one of her very first roles.

Nicole sees a cute boy at the hotel when her father is checking them in and she's staring at him while she's walking and runs smack into a table. This is one of the only truly funny scenes in the movie. She sees the boy again when she's out on a private beach and sees him snorkeling. He comes up to her and asks her how she got there because it's a private beach and that a "kid" like her shouldn't be trespassing. Nicole gets very indignant and tells him she's 18. The guy, whose name is Ben, is probably in his early 20s (I don't remember if they ever get an exact age). She desperately wants to impress him, so when she sees him at an outdoor party their hotel is having for all its guests, she tells him that the older man she's with is her boyfriend! Ugh, gross! She also admits that she's not really 18, but 16, so while she's closer to her actual age, she's still lying! Ben calls Andre her "sugar daddy" and Nicole makes up this elaborate story about how she used to be on the streets hooked on dope and Andrew was the one who saved her and took her in and that's how they met.

There's only one person who knows that Nicole is actually Andre's daughter and that's Diana (Faith Prince),  a woman who stalks rich and handsome men at fancy resorts, looking for her next husband. She has her claws set on Andre even though he already has a girlfriend back in Paris (who is played by an uncredited Emma Thompson in one scene...I don't blame her for wanting to be uncredited!) Everyone else has heard the rumors that this man in his fifties has a teenaged girlfriend and naturally they're all disgusted by it. Nicole told Ben that she and Andre have to pretend to be father and daughter when they go on vacation so people don't think their relationship is weird (you think?!), so everyone thinks that's just a charade they're putting up when Andre tells them she's his daughter.

There's a scene where Andre plays the piano to a room full of people and they all start leaving, when, of all the songs he chooses to sing, is called "Thank God For Little Girls". Yeah, a little creepy! He soon finds out what's been going on and is furious at his daughter as he should be. His daughter is the reason everyone thinks he's a child molester. However, he goes on with her plan because...I have no idea...apparently Nicole still needs to pretend to be dating an older guy to impress Ben. I don't even know why she's trying to impress this guy, anyway. They're never going to see each other again after this (unless Ben is from New York....I really can't remember where he was from).

He ends up being Nicole's first kiss and I'm sure if he knew the girl he was kissing was actually fourteen he might be a little skeeved out! Her father is up on the balcony to witness it...because that's every girl's dream...to have their father watching their first kiss!

This movie is so bad and so disturbing on so many levels. And it's not just that, I honestly don't care about any of the characters. I found them to all be boring. When we get Andre calling his girlfriend in Paris and asking her to marry him and to have a child, I really did not even care! Sure, it was amusing to see Katherine Heigl in one of her first roles, but it's really disturbing that she had to wear that bathing suit with her butt hanging out! Seriously, no girl on vacation with her own father would wear that! Skip this one! 

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