First Daughter

"Zero"

First Daughter Review


Set in an absurd, patronizing fantasy world in which flag-waving citizens line the streets to see the president's kid off to college and angry political protesters share the red-carpet sidelines at black-tie events with shallow reporters asking stupid questions, "First Daughter" could well be the most hackneyed and insipid movie of 2004.

Failing to achieve even the shrug-worth mediocrity of January's similarly plotted "Chasing Liberty" (with Mandy Moore), this gimmick-driven disaster drags star Katie Holmes down with it as Samantha Mackenzie, the sheltered, personality-free offspring of a controversial commander-in-chief (an unconvincing, completely vanilla Michael Keaton), who falls in love with a cute Secret Service agent (an even blander Marc Blucas) posing as a student in her dorm.

Although introduced in the manner of a fairytale, the film's rampant lack of authenticity is simply insurmountable. Samantha's bodyguards constantly hover three feet behind her -- even in class and while she's alone in the dorm's TV room. The girl is never once shown doing anything that even remotely resembles studying, yet as she's egged on by a soundtrack of flutes and twinkling triangles, she proclaims her determination to have a normal coed experience. In pursuit of it, she sneaks out on dates with that charming classmate she doesn't know is an undercover agent -- that is until he blows his secret identity by rescuing her during one of many security breaches so impossibly contrived that the Secret Service should sue 20th Century Fox for defamation of character.

Cutesy-poo to a sickening degree, yet peppered with pseudo-political sincerity that clumsily tiptoes around any real issues for fear of riling up moviegoers, "First Daughter" is such flaccid, formulaic tripe (insert sassy dorm-mate here) that it couldn't be salvaged by director Forest Whitaker ("Waiting to Exhale") even when given an extra eight months to tweak it. (The film was originally scheduled to release the same day as "Chasing Liberty.")

The only even tenuously realistic story element is that Samantha's re-election-minded father has his priorities seriously out of whack -- even insisting she abandon school (not that she was doing anything there) to help him campaign. Yeah, that'll play well with the voters. Meanwhile, the chemistry-deficient romance between Samantha and her besotted bodyguard becomes increasingly implausible when he returns to duty -- suddenly all stiff, serious and wearing a suit -- after his breach of protocol. ("We all deserve a second chance," says the president, apparently unconcerned that his daughter's life may hang in the balance.)

Even granting "First Daughter" a little unearned suspension of disbelief, the movie still fails on its own terms, becoming so lifeless, leaden and painfully protracted that the fantasy it concocts of cute boys, ball gowns and free rides in Air Force One comes off as something to avoid at all costs because it will ruin all your friendships and romances.

The same goes for the movie itself -- it may not ruin your life, but it's sure to make you want your money back.



First Daughter

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th September 2004

Box Office USA: $9.0M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises

Reviews

Rotten Tomatoes: 8%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 77

IMDB: 4.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Samantha Mackenzie, as James Lansome, as President Mackenzie, as The First Lady, as Liz Pappas, as Mia Thompson (as Amerie)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.