Comedies about family dynamics have evolved over the years, with I Love My Dad being a radical example of how we have all moved past the premise of disagreements or misunderstandings leading to hilarious fallouts and inevitable reunions. The genre has matured, understanding how the bloodline bonds might be more complex than any of us could even begin to fathom as they move from the realm of rational to emotional. That being said, I Love My Dad asks the question: How far is too far when trying to get closer to family? Surprisingly, it might not even have the answer, leaving it up to the viewer to make up their own mind on how they would react.
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What’s it about?
Based on a true story, I Love My Dad follows Chuck (Patton Oswalt), a father who wants to reconnect with his son, Franklin (James Morosini). Due to Chuck’s absence and behaviour in the past, Franklin isn’t interested in a close relationship, blocking his father on social media. Devastated by how his main connection into his son’s life has been severed, Chuck does the unthinkable: he creates a new account for a waitress whom he meets named Becca (Claudia Sulewski) and uses it to slide back into his son’s life and DMs. But what happens when Franklin falls for Becca and wants to meet her in real life?
The likelihood of this story and character behaviour
There are more than a few people who will question the legitimacy of this story, especially with how Franklin accepts Becca’s friend request and never quite interrogates her story or profile more closely. Yet, here’s the thing: this author knows of someone who was catfished for four years using similar tactics. If a person isn’t looking for a reason to be suspicious, they won’t find one.
In the case of Franklin, it’s clear the character is lonely and looking to connect with someone. Becca says all the right things to him, and it feels like she has known him for his whole life – which is largely true since it’s Chuck managing the account. Despite advice from others to question the authenticity of the account and to guard himself more, Franklin does the opposite. Many people have formed online relationships and friendships with others where it’s uncertain if they’re even the people they present themselves to be, so I Love My Dad isn’t exactly grasping at straws here.
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I Love My Dad’s main theme is poignant
Without a shadow of a doubt, I Love My Dad has hilarious scenes that’ll work the six-pack, especially when Franklin tries to get friskier with Becca over text and Chuck realises he’s in a bit of a pickle. Additionally, there are moments when the audience will cringe as Chuck digs a deeper hole for himself when he should have shut down his hare-brained scheme there and then. Viewers will have their heads in their hands, shaking and laughing at the unfolding ridiculousness and how the catfishing spirals out of control.
At the core, however, I Love My Dad is a story of two lonely and desperate people. They can’t connect with each other and are only able to speak to each other through an avatar. Both have their reasons for behaving why they do – where it’s up to the audience to decide if they’re right or wrong – but they also have to take a good, hard look at themselves to realise the part they play in the deterioration of their relationship. Ultimately, this is about a father going to extreme means to hold onto any fragment of a relationship he can have with his son. It’s a relatable topic that’s sure to strike a chord with many people and have some calling it sweet while others deem it horrific.
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I Love My Dad is a special comedy with something important to say and being unafraid to get into the weeds of family dynamics. It’s funny, sad, messy, and the characters let each other down often, but isn’t that the very nature of most relationships?
I Love My Dad arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on November 8 via Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play, DirecTV and more.
Tell us, have you watched I Love My Dad? If so, what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments.