Saturday 29 July 2023

Movie Review: First Daughter (2004)

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Director: Forest Whitaker
Starring: Katie Holmes, Michael Keaton, Marc Blucas
Running Time: 105 minutes

Synopsis: Samantha (Katie Holmes) is the teenaged daughter of US President John MacKenzie (Michael Keaton), who is running for re-election. Samantha heads out to study at a California college and is determined to enjoy the experience despite the constant presence of Secret Service agents. She befriends lively roommate Mia (Amerie) and develops an attraction towards handsome resident advisor James (Marc Blucas), but complications soon arise.

What Works Well: The travails of a privileged young woman trying hard to experience normalcy lands on the positive side of tolerable thanks to sparkling locations, a decent dose of energy, and some moments of humour. At close to 26 years old Katie Holmes earns a pass as a college freshman, although she often surrenders to over-emoting. The romance offers the requisite potential for gooeyness, and Forest Whitaker's directing is a cut above standard rom-com fare.

What Does Not Work As Well: This conflict points are painfully predictable, nothing feels organic nor genuine, and the scenes of grandeur at the White House and on Air Force One are over-done. The script tries to say something meaningful about the father-daughter relationship and the sacrifices of public office, but never gets there despite Michael Keaton's best efforts. 

Conclusion: The over-applied gloss and half-hearted rebelliousness net out at average.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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