My Father the Hero
By Andrea Beach,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Iffy premise undercuts what could have been a sweet romance.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A father will do anything for his daughter, no matter how crazy. When you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness.
Positive Role Models
Andre tries desperately to make up for lost time with his daughter after his divorce separated them for several years. Nicky is so desperate for life and romance to start that she invents wild stories to make herself seem more grown up and interesting. When her lies start to cause problems, she attempts to fix them by adding more lies. She also manipulates people and situations so things will turn out how she wants, instead of trying to directly and honestly communicate. She learns to apologize and ask for forgiveness, but we're given no reason to suppose she's really changed in any way. Love interest Ben is supportive, protective, and caring and rightfully indignant when the truth comes out.
Violence & Scariness
A character is punched in the nose, but there's no blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nicky tells people that she's with her lover, but he's in fact her father. Andre says that people think he's a child molester, and there are many instances of people reacting indignantly to him. Statutory rape laws are hinted at but referred to as "those kinds of laws." There are a few kisses on the cheek between father and daughter, some of which Nicky intends to look romantic. Nicky and Ben kiss once. Andre is seen once in only boxer shorts. Nicky's bare buttocks are seen when she's wearing a one-piece thong bathing suit. Nicky says her mother is a prostitute who ran away with her pimp, and we see the guest on a daytime talk show who claims the same thing, giving Nicky the idea.
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"Damn," "goddamn," "bitch," "bastard," and "s--t" are each used once.
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Products & Purchases
The Concorde jet is seen once, and the Air France logo is seen in the background at the airport.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Andre is frequently seen with an alcoholic beverage, mostly at the tropical island resort, but is never depicted as drunk. Nicky, who's 14, is served a tropical drink at a resort bar, but her father takes it away before she has any. Andre asks Nicky to bring him and 17-year-old Ben a couple of beers. Nicky places two beer cans on the table, but no one is shown drinking any. One of Nicky's lies is that she used to be a drug addict, and she mentions dope and sniffing glue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the premise of My Father the Hero is that 14-year-old Nicky tells people that Andre, the man she's on vacation with, is her lover when in fact he's her father. A lot of the comedy arises from people reacting indignantly to his supposed deviant behavior when it's all really innocent. A line is played for laughs about people thinking he's a child molester. Nicky invents wild stories to make herself seem more grown-up and interesting. When her lies start to cause problems, she attempts to fix them by adding more lies. She also manipulates people and situations. Aside from the questionable taste of the premise, there's little of concern in this story about a father and daughter coming to terms with each other. Nicky and Andre kiss on the cheek a few times, and Nicky tries to make some of these seem romantic to make her real love interest jealous. Otherwise there's one kiss on the lips and a few mild swear words, although "s--t" is used once.
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My Father the Hero
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What's the Story?
Andre (Gerard Depardieu) takes his daughter, Nicky (Katherine Heigl), on vacation, trying to make up for lost time after Andre and Nicky's mom divorced and Andre moved back to France. Nicky, who's 14 and waiting for her life to begin, tells people at the tropical resort that the man she's with is her lover because she thinks it'll make her seem older and more interesting. Once Andre finds out, he actually agrees to go along with the charade until Nicky can bring herself to tell Ben (Dalton James), the guy she's fallen for, the truth.
Is It Any Good?
Gerard Depardieu is as lovably charming as ever, and a very young Katherine Heigl does a pretty good job (except for the heavy-drama moments). This could have been a sweet, funny story about first love and real father-daughter bonding, but the only actual "comedy" here arises from the questionable taste of the premise, which gives rise to lines like, "They all think I'm a child molester!" being played for laughs. Throw in some unrealistic plot convenience, like when Nicky's stranded on a reef and the resort's only rescue vehicle is a boat with a motor that won't start, and you have a recipe for "don't bother."
But teens, especially girls, will easily relate to Nicky's longing for life to begin, and if the premise isn't a problem they'll enjoy watching her figure out romantic love and father-daughter bonding in the beautiful tropical setting.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how hard it is to wait for your life to start. What are some positive ways you can make something happen for yourself when you're ready?
My Father the Hero is actually a remake of a French film, with the same actor starring as the father. Why do you think the moviemakers chose to make an English-language version of this story?
Parents and teens can sometimes drive each other crazy, but what are some of the things that let you know your parents really love you?
- On DVD or streaming: April 8, 2003
- Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Katherine Heigl, Dalton James
- Director: Steve Miner
- Studios: Touchstone Pictures, Cité Films, D. D. Productions, Film Par Film, Edward S. Feldman Company
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: Language, elements of sensuality
- Last updated: October 7, 2022
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