Any of you annoyed by the father figures in those movies and Netflix thingies your testy teen daughters are gorging on these days? Well, here’s one daddy who is.
Yes, I’m the father of a young teenage daughter and I’m more than miffed by the naffness of the deadbeat or despot dads in the stuff my once smiling little cherub princess has been watching.
I get the fact that daddy cannot be Mr Big forever; a girl must break away and become her own person. She must deal with the fact that Daddy has feet of clay. But a brain made from the same material, and the dash and panache of Ned Flanders!!!???
There’s one daddy character in particular who took the whole box of biscuits for me recently, and I will get to him — just like he really got to me!
We recently did a fast food fling followed by scary movie thing with our kids.
In reality, we plea-bargained with our 12-year-old son and nearly 14-year-old daughter to watch a movie in the cinema with us and they eventually caved in. It might have been the Milanos (they do a great pizza!) with dessert that swung it.
Happy Death Day was playing in Blanchardstown Centre in west Dublin.
In it, sassy college teen queen Ridiculous Makey-Uppy American Name … okay, it’s Tree… wakes up in the dorm of goody two shoes Carter after getting wasted the previous night. It’s her birthday, and after ignoring the phone call from her dad, she wise-asses her way through campus, all sassy set-ups and sarky put-downs, stopping off along the way for a furtive rendezvous with her married lecher-er, I mean lecturer professor.
Just in case we didn’t know Tree is mean as well as magnificent, we see her ignoring the friendly oriental girl who waves hello outside her college house, as she sashays in to the sarcastic greeting from her not so secretly seething loner room-mate Lori. Tree is crabby.
A few costume changes later, Tree goes out for another night on the tiles, only to end up being slashed to death by a silent figure in a creepy Elmer Fudd mask. Tree gets the chop.
And then she wakes up in the same dormitory, it’s still her birthday, Carter is there to serve her sympathy and headache tablets .…
This is Ground Hog Day with blood-dripping baseball bats and Tree is felled in a variety of ways as she tries to discover who her killer is and somehow end her deja with a vu to staying alive. And no, it’s not Justin Timber….
It’s not all gore to the floor: HDD is played as much for laughs, and there’s that fortune cookie morality thing American blockbuster movies can’t seem to resist… this time it’s smart self-centred college hottie with perfectly flicked hair and flicked off would-be suitors realises she has been, like a total bitch …. yada, yada, yada. Tree grows!
In fairness it’s really clever and self-aware, with some cracking lines, and Tree herself, played by Jennifer Rothe is terrific. But there’s this scene in a restaurant after she finally agrees to meet her long-suffering dad for a birthday dinner that really riled.
After all those babes and hunks we’ve been meeting, here’s little downer daddy, all scrunched up on his restaurant seat, so pleased his little darling has finally taken his call. He’s sitting there like a pet dog whose owner has finally opened the back door to let in, and just so grateful to be let up on to his seat. Waggle! Waggle!
This guy is balding, squat, and blinky eyed, like a mole in a jacket and too-big tie. No offence to the actor, but we’re not talking chiselled charm or windswept stoic here; it’s all welling eyes and ground down victim.
By now we know his wife has died, and Tree’s troubles have come from putting off dealing with the death of her wonderful, idealised mom. Played in flashback by Ellen Barkin … nah, I made that up.
Tree has cut out dad to avoid the grief and loss he represents. Rootless Tree has had to lop off this fatherly fungus.
Now how this dowdy dad was ever with perfect mom, or managed to father the bodacious, if withering on the inside really, Tree is hard to credit.
This loser whose phone call she has ignored nearly all movie, has finally shown up for what seems like about 30 second of this full-length production.
Does he forgive his pouting princess’s horrible behaviour … the moist hand of forgiveness reaches across the crisply perfect table top and …. stop it, already!
Idealised mommy, gorgeously flawed popette with secret heart of gold, model-cool college guys and gals and Mr Perfect who will wait gallantly for his secret princess, okay, fine … but yet another drippy dad character?
What’s the story, Hollywood?
Maybe I should start a justice for movie dads things here, to ramp up the hipness factor for the big screen paterfamilias? Here’s Rad Dad!
How about a ratings system for daddy dudeness — starting with a lamentable 1 for Chevy Chase as cretinous Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Vacation Series, working up to an awesome 10 for Lawrence Fishburn as formidable “Furious” Styles in Boyz n the Hood? Now there was one top dad!
Listen, if movie daddy’s daughter is a princess, should he not be a king? Or at least have kept his hair!
Okay, we can’t expect all our movie daddy role models to be perfect Atticus Finches, or nicely-ageing Harrison Ford types, but surely Hollywood can do better than some left-over loolah from a Looney Tunes cartoon? That’s all folks!
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