A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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