FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS
FILM REVIEW - FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS
Directed by Gabriele Muccino.
Starring Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Aaron Paul.
Russell Crowe plays a father coping with depression in this mawkish melodrama. After his wife is killed in a car accident, author Jake Davis (Crowe) checks himself into a psychiatric institution. Meanwhile, his young daughter, Katie (Kylie Rogers) is sent to live with his wife’s wealthy family. When Jake returns seven months later, His wife’s sister decides she wants to keep her.
Gabrielle Muccino’s film ping pongs back and forth between Jake struggling with the seven-year-old Katie and her adult self (played by Amanda Seyfried). Big Katie is troubled. We know this because she tells her psychiatrist that she’s troubled and sleeps with a lot of guys (well, three). The cause of Katie’s trauma is obviously intended to be a source of narrative tension, but from the very beginning it is abundantly clear where things are going to end up.
Fathers and Daughters draws characters in the broad strokes of a soap opera, and dresses mental illness in the simplistic trappings of a Hallmark Channel movie-of-the-week. Katie’s promiscuity is cured through the healing power of a Michael Bolton power ballad, while the scheming alcoholic aunt wouldn’t be out of place on The Bold and the Beautiful. Crowe fails to convince as either compassionate father or tortured author, and the film never threatens to connect on an emotional level.