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First Daughter

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: First Daughter

Starring: Katie Holmes, Michael Keaton
Director: Forest Whitaker
Rated: PG
RunTime: 104 Minutes
Release Date: September 2004
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Marc Blucas, Dwayne Adway, Philip Boyd, Andrew Caple-Shaw, Christopher Childs, Piper Cochrane, Margaret Colin, Chad Davis, Denise Gillyard, Hollis Hill, Ashly Menser, Michael Milhoan

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewvideo review

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

Forest Whitaker's FIRST DAUGHTER, a poor little rich girl story about the President's college-age daughter, is an exceedingly lame teen comedy bereft of genuine moments. The plastic characters are so unbelievable and saccharine that an urge came over me while watching it. I was desperate to escape for a breath of real, fresh air.

Katie Holmes, as the eponymous star of the film, may be cute, but her movie never is. The overwhelmingly oppressive and sugary music kept telling me what a swell time I was having, even as I felt like I was about to gag.

From the first moment, the film acts like it is a whimsical fairy tale that was supposed to star Hilary Duff. Well, Holmes is no Duff, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But this movie never finds a tone that works. Michael Keaton and Margaret Colin play Samantha "Sam" Mackenzie's parents, also know as the leader of the free world and his wife or the President and the First Lady.

The story gets in gear with just plain Sam arriving in a long black limo parade at her first day in college, 3,000 miles away from home. The brass band greets her and her family with "Hail To The Chief." No sooner has she arrived that her new roommate, Mia (Amerie Rogers in a pathetic performance), unrealistically insults her and then just as unbelievably turns into an instant bosom buddy. Her large Secret Service detail is at first overwhelming and then later is usually completely AWOL. Or is it?

The only good thing about FIRST DAUGHTER is that it makes you want to reevaluate the bland CHASING LIBERTY, the Mandy Moore movie about the president's daughter, which was originally scheduled to open opposite FIRST DAUGHTER until FIRST DAUGHTER blinked and moved its release forward by almost nine months. After seeing FIRST DAUGHTER, CHASING LIBERTY looks really good now in comparison.

FIRST DAUGHTER runs a painfully long 1:44. It is rated PG for "language, sexual situations and alcohol-related material" and would be acceptable for kids around 7 and up.

Copyright 2004 Steve Rhodes

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