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I Love My Dad – Movie Review (SXSW)
August 12, 2022
Synopsis: A hopelessly estranged father catfishes his son in an attempt to reconnect.

Director: James Morosini

Stars: Patton Oswalt, James Morosini, Claudia Sulewski

Before seeing this film, I can’t say I was overly familiar with James Morosini, but I respect his work ethic. He has 37 acting credits at the time of writing this, and the first one is 2009. I admire it because here is someone who is clearly passionate about this work and, you would think, is constantly learning project to project.

I’d like to think all o those ‘learnings’ have brought him to this project. I Love My Dad is a very unique and entertaining film. It tells the story of Chuck (Patton Oswalt). Chuck is not a great father to his son Franklin (Morosini). Any time in his life where Franklin needed his father to step up, he just didn’t. Not even close. Franklin has come to expect nothing from his father. That way he avoids disappointment.

But Chuck wants to change. He wants to be a better father. So, he develops a female online persona, and catfishes his own son. Sorry, what? Yes, he manipulates his own son. Oh Chuck!

We have seen multiple shows and movies about the art of ‘catfishing’. Pretending to be someone you aren’t or quite frankly, manufacturing a decoy with the attempt of fooling someone else. I can’t say I would watch a show on catfishing, but I would recommend this film.

Morosini, who also wrote and directs this movie, has made a very entertaining film.  This film floats between comedy and drama…yes, it’s a dramedy sand that’s ok. There are some very serious moments as at his core, Chuck’s motives are pure, and he just wants to erase the bad memories and reconnect with his son. We also see that Franklin has some issues, perhaps as a result of his relationship with his father, that Morosini explores very effectively. Then there is the comedy side. The editing of this movie is its own character. Josh Crockett, the films editor, has done such a great job with this film. The comedic scenes are very funny. Without giving too much away,

I can be skeptical of a director having a major role in their own film. Not here. Morosini shows that he has been a sponge on all those sets soaking up knowledge and he delivers a solid performance. The script is also solid. He has taken something that has affected so many people, especially in the world of online dating, and put a different spin on it. When I think of catfishing I don’t tend to think of a parent doing that to their child. Oswalt, also reminds us he can do more than just comedy.

I Love My Dad is very original and in a time of so many choices of what to watch, this is a film that should be on your ‘Must See’ list.

Grade: B+

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