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

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

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.