"Finding Freedom Under the Spotlight"
What You Need To Know:
Ethically, the movie is typical Romanticist pap. The “First Daughter” wants to find her freedom, which means being allowed to do whatever she wants. Drinking and being with her boyfriend are her desires. Samantha marks some moral boundaries, though, as she convinces her roommate to respect herself and not let boys use her. The film is poorly made because its focus wanders and the conflict is unclear. Worst is the dialogue, which is bad enough to make even the least jaded audience members flinch. FIRST DAUGHTER is a boring movie but not terribly offensive. Younger children should be kept away because of frequent alcohol use.
(RoRo, B, L, S, AA, M) Romantic worldview where personal feelings are more important than objective values and breaking rules is a desirable component of freedom, with promiscuity rebuked and familial responsibility rewarded; three light obscenities and two light profanities; no violence; college student requests privacy “for two hours” and might have been fornicating, references to “getting action,” and promiscuity rebuked; drinking and drunkenness; and, lying.
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
FIRST DAUGHTER is an unbearably cornpone, muddled effort by actor turned director Forest Whitaker. Samantha Mackenzie, played by Katie Holmes, is the president’s daughter. She finds it impossible to fit in at her new college with Secret Service agents always buzzing around her and cameras in her face. Every time she tries to have fun like a “normal” student, her parents or their agents interrupt.
Samantha meets a charming, gallant boy, and they take an interest in each other. Later she finds out that he is not a student at all but an undercover Secret Service agent. She fears she will never be normal, and she feels hurt that her father, the president, deceived her.
The movie’s focus wanders from subplot to subplot without any of them capturing the audience’s attention. The principal conflict is that her father won’t relax the security on her, but she always accepts and understands the conflict, which makes it a minor conflict without much action, not the stuff of interesting movies. What’s worst is that the dialogue is dull and stupid, prompting even the least jaded audience members to flinch with embarrassment for the actors having to say the lines.
Ethically, the movie is typical Romanticist pap. She wants to find her freedom, which means being allowed to do whatever she wants, such as drinking and being with her Secret Service boyfriend are her fondest desires. Samantha marks some moral boundaries, though, as she convinces her roommate to respect herself and not let boys use her.
Katie Holmes is a lot more talented than this movie would make her seem, as evidenced in PIECES OF APRIL. Hopefully this will be the last of her teen exploitation movies that seek to part young girls from their parents’ money.
FIRST DAUGHTER is a boring movie but not terribly offensive. Younger children should be kept away because of the frequent alcohol use.
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